Ray County Prosecutor Danielle Rogers has asked local communities including Richmond, Orrick and Hardin to vigorously enforce Missouri’s laws against underage drinking.
The request is included in letter personalized for school administrators in each district to be distributed to parents about the health and legal dangers of underage drinking.
The information is especially timely as young people prepare to celebrate proms and graduation.
The letter informs parents and guardians that youth who drink as adolescents are three times more likely to become addicted to alcohol and seven times more likely to become involved with methamphetamines or heroin.
“I am stunned to learn that, according to a recent Missouri Student Survey, 58 percent of Ray County high school students say they can ‘easily’ access alcohol, and roughly 17 percent said they had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days,” Rogers told administrators and parents.
Legally, the letter points out that anyone supplying or allowing adolescents to drink alcohol can be subject to heavy fines, attorney fees and court costs, as well as possible jail time. In addition, if anyone is injured or killed as a result of a juvenile being provided alcohol, civil litigation could result in a family incurring crippling debt.
The letter concludes by encouraging adults in the community to protect the futures and potential of young people by being vigilant about underage drinking.
Prosecutors from Ray, Clay and Platte counties are working in partnership with the Northland Coalition and Tri-County Mental Health Services to educate the community about the negative impact underage drinking has on youth and their families.
For more information about the issue visit www.northlandcoalition.com or contact Tri-County prevention specialist Laura Bruce at (816) 877-0498