The Granby Police Department was recently awarded a $4984.00 grant to combat underage drinking. The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division (EOPSS/HSD) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is providing $505,000 in funding to 71 Massachusetts communities on a competitive basis with awards ranging from $4,200 to $15,000.
Funds support compliance checks for minors in bars, restaurants and retail locations; reverse stings and “Cops in Shops” programs; “shoulder tap” solicitations; surveillance patrols; and party patrols. Through a combination of these techniques, departments analyze and crack down on minors who seek to circumvent the law and people and businesses that enable them. Over the past three years, activities under this grant have resulted in 485 youth citations and 340 arrests. Citations were also issued to 413 adults, and 352 adult arrests were made across the Commonwealth.
Although it’s illegal in all 50 States for youth under age 21 to buy or drink alcohol, NHTSA reports that nationally in 2012, 28 percent of the underage drivers who were killed in crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 or higher.
“Teens and parents need to be reminded that underage drinking is not a game. It’s deadly serious,” “Parents need to know that hosting a party where alcohol is served to minors is illegal and extremely dangerous for young people and the entire community. Parents should also know they will face all legal liabilities.”
Progress has been made in Massachusetts over the last several years. Violations for underage drinking decreased 41.5% from 2007 to 2011 and arrests of drivers under 18 for operating under the influence decreased 45.4% from 2006 to 2010.
“Despite this hopeful trend, more work needs to be done to further reduce underage drinking and driving. The Granby police department, in partnership with EOPSS/HSD and NHTSA recognizes that traffic crashes are preventable and is committed to using this grant to reduce the number of motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries in Granby because any loss of life or injury on our roadways is one too many.