With the new school year upon us, the Foxborough Police Department’s objective to keep alcohol out of the hands of those under age twenty-one will continue. Throughout the summer the department focused on preventing underage drinking from occurring within the community and at liquor serving establishments. Sgt. Richard Noonan was pleased to report that there were no major incidents of underage drinking and that there were no tragedies related to alcohol.
With the new school year beginning the Police Department understands that the challenge of preventing underage drinking continues. Throughout the school year, the Police Department will continue with initiatives to prevent underage drinking from occurring. Some of these initiatives will include: cops in shops, party patrols, shoulder tap, and compliance checks.
During these initiatives plain clothes officers will be out and about throughout the town and in liquor selling establishments looking for: underage drinking parties, those under age twenty-one possessing or attempting to purchase alcohol, and those over age twenty-one who are purchasing or providing alcohol for minors.
Compliance checks will also be conducted by the department to ensure that liquor stores and liquor serving establishments are asking for identification and correctly reading the identification. In 2012, a compliance check found six violations for selling alcohol to a minor when those establishments failed to ask for identification or incorrectly read the identification presented. Any establishment that is caught selling alcohol to a minor will be brought before the Board of Selectman for a liquor law violation and will face disciplinary action.
The department not only will be checking liquor stores to prevent employees from selling alcohol to minors, it will also be make sure that those over under age are not purchasing alcohol for minors. In an enforcement activity called a “shoulder tap,” underage youths under the watchful eye of police officers, approach patrons outside the liquor store, identify themselves as being under age twenty-one and asks the patron to purchase them alcohol. This will be the third year the department has conducted this activity. In 2012, seventy six individuals were approached and one person was charged for delivering alcohol to a minor.
These initiatives are being conducted through a grant received from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPPSS) to combat underage drinking.
Underage drinking is a community issue that needs everyone’s attention to help keep alcohol away from minors and to keep our youth safe. Underage drinking is a major contributor of poor choices made by underage youths, including drinking and driving, committing property and violent crimes, and making unsafe and dangerous decisions. According to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, it was estimated that underage drinking cost the citizens of Massachusetts 1.4 billion dollars in 2010.
The Foxborough Police Department would like to remind parents that the beginning of the new school year is a perfect opportunity to sit down with your child and talk to them about the dangers of underage drinking and drunk driving. To help facilitate this conversation parents can get information at www.stopalcoholabuse.gov.