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New Ads Warn About Providing Alcohol to Minors

Friday, March 26, 2010 Alcohol & Drug Abuse News J E 4
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MOUNDS VIEW, Minn., March 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Moviegoers at some theaters this weekend will be reminded to be careful when they serve alcohol.

A new campaign from the Minnesota Institute of Public Health (MIPH) with funding from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety is focused on reaching adults ages 21 to 29. Studies show these young adults are a common source of alcohol to underage drinkers.

"We want them to know this is a big deal," explained Sheila Nesbitt, project director at MIPH. "Too often people provide alcohol without thinking about how serious the consequences can be."

Someone who provides alcohol to an underage drinker can be charged with a gross misdemeanor. If the underage drinking results in death or grave bodily injury, the provider can be charged with a felony.

In February the Washington County Attorney's Office charged a 22-year-old man with one felony count of providing liquor to someone underage. He allegedly gave vodka to his 19-year-old girlfriend and her friends. After drinking, the girls were in a car crash and one girl died.

"Cases like this are tragic but all too common. We want to get the word out before someone makes the decision to provide alcohol. Once that drink is handed over, they are responsible for everything that happens," said Nesbitt.

Providing alcohol to underage drinkers is not only a criminal offense. Some landlords won't rent to someone with a conviction for providing alcohol.  Many employers are also routinely conducting background checks that would reveal the criminal conviction.

The new ad campaign will run in 13 movie theaters across the state for eight weeks. It also includes posters and other materials that have been sent to coalitions in those communities.

The cinema ads will be shown in select theaters in Duluth, St. Cloud, Mankato, Moorhead, Oakdale, Willmar, Hutchinson, New Ulm, North Branch, Sauk Centre, Baudette and Hackensack.

SOURCE Minnesota Institute of Public Health

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