Enforcement Effort is Part of Operation Safe Campus
BOSTON – As part of the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission’s (ABCC) Operation Safe Campus program, Investigators found underage college students in possession of alcohol at area bars and liquor stores. Most students were approximately 19 years of age and used false out-of-state licenses.
Under the direction of State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, the ABCC annually implements Operation Safe Campus. The program’s objective is to proactively prevent tragedies by keeping alcoholic beverages out of the hands of underage students on and around college campuses throughout Massachusetts.
“Increased enforcement saves lives and prevents tragedies before they happen,” said State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, who oversees the ABCC. “We want to educate and make sure that underage people are aware that drinking can have devastating consequences upon them and those they love.”
From Labor Day weekend through Halloween, the ABCC found 135 minors in possession or transporting alcoholic beverages, 16 adults procuring alcohol for underage individuals and approximately 56 students in possession of false identification at liquor stores in Boston, Amherst, North Andover, Salem, Worcester, and Westfield. Investigators also confiscated approximately 72 cases of beer and 68 bottles of alcohol, preventing delivery to an estimated 1,000 minors.
During the same time period, the ABCC found bars in Boston, Brookline, Somerville and Worcester allowing people under 21 years of age to be in possession of alcoholic beverages on the licensed premises.
Operation Safe Campus focuses on front-line prevention, often calling a teen’s parents when violations occur. Officials say that most parents are unaware that their children are involved in the use of alcohol, and that the intervention is a powerful tool toward family involvement in addressing the problem of underage drinking.
“The safety of all Massachusetts students is of the utmost importance and by implementing Operation Safe Campus we are supporting that priority and maintaining safer campuses.” said Jean Lorizio, chairperson of the ABCC.
Statistics show that three teens die from drinking and driving every day, and approximately six teens die every day of non-driving alcohol-related causes, such as homicide, suicide, and drowning. Annually, 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. Alcohol intoxication has also been reported to be involved in 47% of homicides and 23% of suicides involving people under 21. In Massachusetts alone, the overall cost of alcohol abuse by youth is estimated at $1.4 billion.