Indiana launches crackdown on underage drinking

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana Attorney General’s office has teamed up with alcohol distributors and retailers with the common goal to end underage drinking.

They joined a nationwide program called “We Don’t Serve Teens” to raise awareness of problems caused by underage drinking. The program looks at current laws and the industry’s commitment to not serving anyone under 21.

This is the latest step the state is taking to fight underage drinking. Indiana also has the Lifeline Law, which gives minors immunity from alcohol-related charges if they call police when someone needs help. This was in response to a Carmel teen who died of alcohol poisoning in 2012. His friends told police they were too afraid to call for help.

Last August, a 19-year-old from Zionsville who just started her freshman year at Indiana University fell down stairs at a party. Police say it took her friends six hours to call 911. She died a short time later. At the time, students said they didn’t think enough people knew about the Lifeline Law.

Studies show that there is a need for the information.

The Federal Trade Commission reports that in 2012, 42 percent of 12th graders, 28 percent of 10th graders and 11 percent of 8th graders said they drink alcohol. That same year, 24 percent of 12th graders, 16 percent of 10th graders and 5 percent of 8th graders reported binge drinking, which is having five or more drinks in one occasion. The FTC, and now the Indiana Attorney General, say reducing teen access is a national priority.

Kickoff of the “We Don’t Serve Teens” program locally:

  • Thursday, April 17, 2014
  • 10 a.m.
  • Big Red Liquors, 5439 S. East Street, Indianapolis

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