Date PostedMarch 22, 2013

Efforts to Curb Spring Break Underage Drinking

As Aussie authorities do their best to combat teenage drinking in this country, operations in Florida are underway to combat spring break drinking by underage minors, who pose a risk to their own safety as well as the safety of residents and visitors. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a targeted operation to protect the safety of students enjoying spring break and other innocent bystanders. By looking into their efforts perhaps we can get some ideas about how to tackle similar issues in Oz. This article from website explains further:

507868f68d106.preview-300Operation Dry Spring is a statewide effort of Florida Sheriffs to crack down on underage alcohol sales, and protect Florida’s youth from drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The use of drugs and alcohol, particularly by students on spring break who might be experimenting with their freedom, can lead to poor decision making and in turn, to emergency medical situations such as overdoses and alcohol-related injuries. It can also result in civil citations or criminal charges that put an end to spring break fun and potentially impact the student’s future.

In addition to enhanced enforcement efforts, Sheriff Tom Knight partnered with Clear Channel Radio to air a public service announcement on two of its local stations, 105.9 WTZB and 106.5 WCTQ, reminding students to be smart about underage drinking, drunk driving and synthetic drugs.

The consequences of underage drinking go beyond the physical impact that alcohol has on the developing body of a teen, but it also affects the choices they make, which often can make an impact on their entire lives.  That is why police in the ACT have also promised to target underage drinking and binge drinking starting with an operation over the weekend of 16 March.

Their efforts are on-going and will coincide with the program launched by authorities in that region called, “Don’t take your chances”. Last year during the same period 12 teenagers were taken into custody for alcohol related offences. Part of their operations will include random breath tests conducted throughout the evening’s operations. Police efforts also include setting up a vicinity for underage teens to be kept in custody until their parents and guardians can be located. Those teens that make a habit of pre-loading should be particularly concerned because police will be targeting these youth.

This is what police said about the operation on their website

ACT Policing’s Operation Commander for Skyfire, Superintendent Rob Wilson, said that he was hoping to have even fewer teenagers taken into custody this year.

“Last year the event was only marred by bad weather with no reports of violence, and we recorded a 60 per cent decrease in the number of teenagers taken into custody for underage drinking,” Superintendent Wilson said.

“Of concern was the number of teenagers that recorded an alcohol content reading of more than 0.2, with one 16-year-old boy recording 0.315”.


Those who have the power to serve alcohol to minors need to remember that they are legally bound to request the ID of any person who looks like they may be underage and if this person is certainly a minor, they must be refused alcohol. Responsible service of alcohol is vital to combatting the problem of teen drinking and RSA staff must ensure they undergo RSA training and apply what they learn to their job selling or serving alcohol.


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Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning, OH&S training, and web strategy firm based in Little Edward St. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia. Urban E-Learning provides compliance related online , Distance and Face-to-Face training products in the construction, hospitality and heavy vehicle transport sectors, to name a few. Examples include the White Card Construction induction course and the RSA - Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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