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1360 Walnut
Oskaloosa, Kansas 66066
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12/18/2014

Jefferson County Prevention Task Force

Jefferson County Alliance of Service Councils, Inc.
Jefferson County Prevention Task Force
December 2014

Happy Holidays!


On behalf of the Jefferson County Prevention Task Force, we hope the upcoming holiday season will be a safe and memorable time for all. The holidays are often a time of celebrations. Making safe, healthy choices can help prevent tragic accidents and negative consequences that can come from drinking and driving or riding with someone who has been drinking. During 2012, Kansas had 97 fatalities related to alcohol impairment and 20 fatalities were related to under-21 alcohol impairment. As responsible adults, making good choices can help ensure personal and public safety.

For youth, underage drinking has serious consequences even when avoiding driving after drinking. The human brain continues to develop until a person is in their mid-twenties and the last region to develop influences decision making abilities. Alcohol reduces inhibition and increases the potential for risky behaviors that can have life-altering consequences including the risk of permanent brain damage.

“Youth who drink before age 15 are 5 times more likely to have alcohol problems when they are adults.” (Fast Facts: Underage Drinking in Kansas, 2013). There are also legal consequences associated with underage drinking. It is illegal to buy or possess alcohol if you are under 21. It is illegal to provide alcohol or to recklessly allow underage drinking to occur on ones property. Violating this law can lead to a minimum of $1000 fine as well as jail time. For a minor in possession of alcohol, it can lead to the loss of a driver’s license for holding an alcoholic beverage and fines up to $500. It can also impact the ability to participate in scholarships or extracurricular activities.

To help youth make safe choices, parents & care givers are encouraged to talk with youth about the risks and dangers of underage drinking and to set clear family rules about use of alcohol and other drugs. Parents have the greatest influence on their children. When youth attend parties, it is helpful to know where your youth will be and to express support and appreciation to parents hosting the parties for ensuring adequate supervision and guidelines to help keep youths’ parties alcohol and drug-free. The community can help assist with this through use of the Kansas tip line: 1-866MUST-B-21 in which callers can remain anonymous while reporting suspected illegal activities. For suspicious driving, call 911. It is everyone’s responsibility to raise safe kids and to help keep our community safe!

May your holiday season be safe and filled with happy memories!

 
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