Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Berkeley County underage drinkers, beware.
The Ernest E. Kennedy Center, in collaboration with the RU21 Team, the Ninth Judicial Circuit Alcohol Enforcement Team and the Berkeley County Prevention Board, has unveiled a new “Underage Alcohol Party and Sales Tip Line.”
The tip line is part of the organizations’ goal to bring awareness of underage drinking to Berkeley County.
The anonymous tip line can be called or texted in order to report underage alcohol issues, including parties and adults who provide to underage youth and stores who sell to underage youth.
The tip line is anonymous and will be administered and responded to by local law enforcement. The number is: (843) 899-RU21(7821) and its accompanying RU21 Media campaign will be partnering with the Berkeley Independent, The Gazette, Comcast Cable and Adams Outdoor to get the word out.
In addition to the tip line, local law enforcement members of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Alcohol Enforcement Team (AET) will be conducting increased enforcement to curb the dangers associated with underage alcohol use and sales. The enforcement strategies will include Alcohol Compliance Checks, Public Safety Checkpoints, Bar Checks and Fake ID identification.
Berkeley County was ranked seventh in South Carolina for underage alcohol use and abuse by the statewide Communities That Care Survey conducted in 2010. The identified partners are working to change this statistic.
Parents are being asked to be aware and diligent regarding the issue of underage alcohol. It is illegal to give alcohol to underage youth under any circumstances, even in your own home, even with their parent’s permission. You can face a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and $1,075 in fines and fees.
Your penalties can “stack up” as you can be ticketed for each underage person you provide with alcohol. You can be sued if you give alcohol to anyone under 21 and they, in turn, hurt themselves or damage property.
The summer months are an important time to focus on alcohol awareness because it includes many outdoor activities, trips and summer celebrations.
For additional information on the tip line, the AET team or the issue of underage alcohol use or sales contact the Kennedy Center Prevention Staff at (843) 797-7181 or www.ekcenter.org.