Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Alcohol killing kids

I learned at a meeting this morning that the IL Liquor Commission is running a pilot program to better hold accountable folks who provide alcohol to those less than 21 years of age. I hope it works well so that they will be able to roll it out state-wide in the not too distant future. The program called TrAIL (Tracking Alcohol in IL) consists of investigations triggered when underage drinking is “suspected in an incident that results in serious consequences”. This would include car crashes, treated alcohol overdose, and the like. Bringing in a specific investigator immediately after a triggering event will improve investigative success in tracing the source of the alcohol and allow for prosecution as indicated.

As we discussed at our meeting, to really be able to decrease underage drinking (and its attendant problems like death and date rape) we need to impact “social norms”. It can’t continue to be “OK” for underage individuals to have access to alcohol either from retail outlets (a more easily controllable source) or from “social” sources (parents, friends, etc). We can’t continue to allow kids to die having a “good time”.

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