The A’s of Reducing Underage Drinking

Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County has identified effective strategies to help reduce underage drinking in our communities. According to the 2013 Alcohol Tobacco and other Drugs (ATOD) survey, distributed to 8th, 10th and 11th graders in Fond du Lac, 30% of students surveyed admitted to drinking alcohol in the past 30 days. When alcohol is less available, attractive or acceptable, youth have fewer opportunities and less interest in participating in underage drinking.

What can our communities do to reduce underage drinking?

Make alcohol less available to youth

  • Refuse to purchase or provide alcohol for underage youth and tell family members and older siblings that you will not serve teens in your home.
  • Refuse to allow underage youth to drink in your home, even if you did not provide the alcohol.  You can be fined under the Social Host Ordinance.
  • Support underage alcohol compliance checks and severe penalties for retailers selling alcohol to youth.
  • Require all events applying for a Class B temporary “picnic” license to adopt security measures targeting underage drinkers such as securing the area, checking ID’s and using wristbands and single purchase limits.
  • Secure your alcohol supplies to prevent unauthorized garage raids by overly adventurous teens.
  • Support police “party patrol” efforts to identify and disperse illegal underage house parties; call the police when you see underage drinking or out-of-control house parties.
  • Support municipal and district judges who take a tough stand on underage drinking.

Make alcohol less attractive to youth

  • Ask local merchants to display alcohol away from youth products such as cereal, juice and candy.
  • Amend community zoning laws to ban alcohol advertising within 500 feet of schools, churches and parks.
  • Object to in-store merchandising of alcohol featuring toys, model cars and other items appealing to youth.
  • Adopt or enforce existing prohibitions against licensed establishments near schools, churches and places where children regularly congregate.
  • Insist that interscholastic athletes accept and respect the Code of Conduct banning alcohol use, and support coaches and Athletic Directors who sanction violators.

Make alcohol less acceptable to youth

  • Make a family event area as Alcohol Free Zones at community events
  • Support youth event and activities to be alcohol free
  • Adopt policies prohibiting alcohol sales at youth events and youth oriented events such as interscholastic sports or children’s entertainment
  • Wisconsin’s civic and service groups should support the efforts of community coalitions working to improve alcohol environment to make the community a more desirable place to live, work and do business.
  • Adopt policies or practices that prohibit adults from consuming alcohol while supervising or chaperoning youth events or consuming alcohol prior to attending the event.
  • Be a positive role model.

To learn more about alcohol abuse prevention strategies in your communities or to become involved,  visit http://www.drugfreefdl.com/alcoholuseaguse.html

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