April was Alcohol Awareness month and in an effort to prevent the deadly consequences of underage drinking and driving, local law enforcement officials in South Carolina joined with the Tri-County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and the First Judicial Alcohol Enforcement Team (AET) to implement a prevention campaign titled “Out of Their Hands.”
During April 1-30, local law enforcement along with community leaders and businesses sent the message that underage drinking is not only wrong, it is against the law.
Campaign partners this year were the Edisto Pantry and Deli, Edisto Liquor and Calhoun Oil Company.
“We have had a great working relationship with Calhoun Oil, Edisto Pantry and Deli and Edisto Liquor,” said Tony Ackiss, AET coordinator for the First Judicial Circuit. “These establishments have worked very hard in training their employees to keep alcohol out of the hands of people who are not supposed to have it.”
As part of the campaign, Edisto Pantry and Deli, Edisto Liquor and Calhoun Oil Company and businesses throughout the tri-county region displayed “Out of Their Hands” flyers in their alcohol sections during the month of April.
Teens from the F.I.R.E. Squad Youth Coalition, a youth group sponsored by the prevention department at the Tri-County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, took part in the campaign by posting some flyers in Calhoun Oil Company’s Orangeburg and Sandy Run locations.
“This is an excellent opportunity for our kids to see just how important it is to spread the message of teen alcohol prevention. It’s good for them to know that teen alcohol use is wrong and understand the consequences of it. It’s even better when they have a chance to take what they know and share it with the public,” said Youth Coordinator Vincent Sanders.
Along with posting “Out of their Hands” flyers in these stores, the prevention department also promoted the campaign on gas station television, local billboards and Community Broadcasters’ radio stations.
“Teens and parents need to be reminded that underage drinking is deadly serious,” Ackiss said. “Parents and older adults need to know that hosting a party is extremely dangerous for teens, for others in the community, and for the parents themselves given the legal ramifications they could face. South Carolina law requires that any adult found supplying or assisting an underage individual in possessing or consuming alcohol can be fined or be imprisoned up to 30 days. The law also mandates a fine up to $1,092.50 per child.
“We’re asking teens to avoid alcohol and parents to make a new or renewed commitment to never being a party to underage drinking or supplying alcohol to a person that is not of legal age to consume alcohol,” said Ackiss. “Please remember, giving teens alcohol is not only wrong – it’s against the law.”