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Placer County, Calif. – The Coalition for Placer Youth and local law enforcement agencies are offering signage to stores that sell alcohol in Placer County, warning patrons about fines and possible jail time if they purchase alcohol for a minor.

The goal is to prevent underage drinking by raising awareness of alcohol compliance laws. The Coalition has formed a local collaborative partnership for this effort, working with the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, Placer County Department of Public Health and local law enforcement (Auburn PD, Placer County Sheriff, Lincoln PD, Rocklin PD, Roseville PD, and the District Attorney).

Alcohol is the number one substance of choice among Placer County youth according to local student surveys, and is easy to get. A survey conducted by the Coalition of 7,753 students at three Placer County high school districts in the fall of 2012 and 2013 revealed that current past 30 day alcohol use more than doubled from 9th to 11th grade (from 13% to 28%). And binge drinking (5 or more drinks in a row) more than tripled from 6% to 19% from 9th to 11th grade.

Signs warn that “buying, selling, or providing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 is against the law, and punishable by fines and/or jail.” There is no law requiring stores to display the signs, so the Coalition and local law enforcement are relying on stores to do so voluntarily. Nevada County, and parts of Sacramento and El Dorado Counties have already distributed warning signs in their areas to stress this issue as well.

The signage has been printed in English and Spanish on posters and cold case refrigerator decals. Each law enforcement agency will deliver signage to local liquor merchants asking them to display the sign in a visible place to help prevent the purchase or provision of alcohol to underage minors and send a message that selling to minors will not be tolerated at their place of business.

Drug Free Community (DFC) coalitions working in youth alcohol prevention throughout the region and state have been working to make this signage move from voluntary to mandatory, just as tobacco signage is mandatory in all tobacco selling establishments. The goal is to have the signage in all establishments throughout Placer County where alcohol is sold. The Coalition is beginning with “off-sale locations” (liquor stores).

For additional information,

Drug Free Community (DFC) background:
The Coalition for Placer Youth has been a Drug Free Community Coalition, funded by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration) since 2009. They work to mobilize community leaders to identify and respond to the drug problems unique to their community. A DFC Coalition is designed to change the community environment. By focusing on environmental change, it ultimately contributes to reductions in substance use among youth, and over time, substance abuse among adults.

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