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The Underage Drinking Crisis In America

1374 words - 6 pages

By definition and federal law, underage drinking is any person under 21 who are consuming alcohol. In 2011, Missouri had 258 total alcohol impaired fatalities. Forty-six, or thirty percent, of these fatalities were under the age of twenty-one (Century Council). Surely, it does not happen in small towns like Warrensburg. Yes, in fact, it does happen in Warrensburg, the reason being it is a college town, and Whiteman Air Force Base is just twenty minutes outside the town. Here are stories of underage drinking incidences that occurred in Warrensburg, Jackson County, and St. Joseph.
In October 2008, UCM homecoming night, a second floor fight broke out in Club Blue, a bar down on Pine Street. The fight caused an ‘all-call’, which meant all emergency responders in the area were on the scene. Shots fired from an unknown source, police used mace, and the whole scene was chaos. Police wrote up many MIP’s, or minor in possession tickets (Clifton).
In January 2014, a sixth grade teacher from St. Joseph, Missouri, reportedly hosted an underage drinking party at her residence. After police received two calls complaining of an underage drinking party, they went out to investigate. Upon arriving at the residence, police overheard people talking, and the after peering in a window, saw teenagers running down the basement stairs. They also found fourteen and fifteen year olds in the presence of empty alcohol cans. The teacher was reportedly asleep, with a BAC of .158 (Hoppa).
In Jackson County, on Halloween night in 2011, a young girl died after colliding with an underage drunk driver. The driver was returning home, after attending a party hosted by an unknown adult. The adult bought alcohol, using money given by the minors, and later made pineapple juice with rum. The minor, after drinking and getting into a fight, went home, killing the young girl on the way (Emison).
So, underage drinking needs to stop, this is already a given fact. What are communities doing to prevent underage drinking? What programs are out there to help teenagers become proactive and not drink underage? Before answering these questions, let us look at some background information first. First, what does Missouri law say about underage drinking? Secondly, what are some reasons that may cause minors to start drinking? Lastly, what are possible consequences of underage drinking?
Background
Missouri law has a lot to say when it comes to minors and their use of alcohol. Some laws are decent, while others are less decent. Let us examine the decent laws first. First, according to the APIS, Missouri law prohibits underage possession of alcohol with no exceptions. Next, State law, also prohibits any internal possession of alcohol by minors, with absolutely no exceptions. Third, the purchase of alcohol by minors is prohibited, with the exception of undercover law enforcement purposes. The next two laws are perhaps part of the problem of underage drinking. These two laws allow...

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