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According to a Community Survey conducted in Omak last year, residents would like to see both adults and youth held accountable for underage drinking.
Eighty-four percent of area adults believe that strong consequences should be given to underage drinkers by the courts. The same survey showed that 86% of adults feel that there should be a fine for adults who knowingly allow minors to use alcohol and drugs in their home. And finally, that survey showed that 9 out of 10 adults do not approve of underage drinking.
Adults who sell alcohol in bars and stores are held criminally liable for furnishing alcohol to a minor if they sell to a Liquor Control Board undercover operative. This is a good strategy to have in place because it makes sure businesses aren’t selling to minors, but how does that store clerk know if an adult is buying alcohol for a minor? They don’t! Currently, adults found to be furnishing alcohol to minors can be criminally charged and face up to a year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.
The bottom line is: Don’t be a party to underage drinking. This includes providing either the alcohol or the place for them to consume it. Alcohol is a drug and consuming it shouldn’t be viewed as a rite of passage for young people. It affects a young person’s developing brain, impairs their judgment, can lead to assaults, property damage, alcohol poisoning, and death.
Please call 911 if you suspect someone is providing minors with alcohol or a place to consume it.
We will be discussing the issue of underage drinking and its community consequences on Openline on September 5 – we hope you will join us for this discussion