Media Campaign Launches to Prevent Underage Drinking (Update)

The second phase of an Alcohol Compliance Check & Public Service Announcement Media Campaign funded by the Georgia Governor’s Office for Children and Families (GOCF) is underway in selected counties throughout the state of Georgia.

Online PR News – 07-June-2013 – ATLANTA‚ GA – ATLANTA‚ GA – Underage drinking in Georgia leads to substantial harm due to traffic crashes, violent crime, property crime, unintentional injury, and risky sexual behavior. Costing the citizens of Georgia $1,450 billion per year, underage drinking poses a financial threat as well. The Georgia Governor’s Office for Children and Families recognizes the pressing need to address the issue of underage drinking by limiting the availability of alcohol to minors.

In February, The Georgia Governor’s Office for Children and Families awarded The Council on Alcohol and Drugs (The Council) a $86,912 grant to prevent and reduce underage drinking by providing a Compliance Check & Public Service Announcement Media Campaign. The Campaign employs a two-pronged approach—alcohol compliance checks of retailers and radio Public Service Announcements to alert alcohol retailers about the dangers and consequences of selling to underage youth. A “compliance check” is a sting operation used to detect retail establishments that sell alcohol to underage youth. Ten counties with high rates of selling alcohol to underage youth are the focus of this campaign.

The Council partnered with local law enforcement in the months of February and March 2013; and a series of alcohol compliance checks took place, further revealing the need for the campaign. The number of retail checks that each county’s law enforcement agency was responsible for conducting was determined by the area’s alcohol retail density, or the saturation of alcohol retailers in the county. Local law enforcement in these counties mobilized their efforts and a total of 321 compliance checks were conducted. The average non-compliance rate for the counties was 18%, indicating 59 instances in which a retail clerk sold alcohol to someone underage—an average of one out of every five times they were approached. The specific number of checks completed in each county are as follows:

Bulloch 75
Camden 25
Clayton 35
Cobb 35
DeKalb 52
Henry 30
Richmond 29
Stephens 15
Towns 15
Treutlen 10

The campaign is also improving retailers’ and the public’s awareness of this issue by broadcasting compliance check Public Service Announcements on the radio. The PSA broadcasts were launched on April 22, and so far Georgia citizens all over the state have heard 2,324 messages. Upon completion of the broadcasts, an estimated 4,648 messages will have aired. Recordings of the PSAs can also be heard at StopAlcoholUnder21.org . This website is an informational tool, dedicated to helping parents and other Georgians reduce underage drinking of alcohol.

In the coming months, the campaign will continue to press forward and raise more awareness about underage drinking in Georgia. By the end of the campaign each county will have heard seven different PSA messages and a post series of compliance checks will be performed to see how effective the PSAs were.

This project is supported by the Governor’s Office for Children and Families and the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Points of view or opinions stated in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families or the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

For more information about the program, please contact Kay M. Manning, LCSW, MAC at The Council on Alcohol and Drugs at kmanning@livedrugfree.org or at 770) 725-1837.

For more information, contact:
Kay M. Manning, LCSW, MAC
Associate Director of Prevention/Intervention
The Council on Alcohol and Drugs
Phone: (770) 725-1837
Email: kmanning@livedrugfree.org
http://www.livedrugfree.org/

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Contact Information
Kay M. Manning
The Council on Alcohol and Drugs

(770) 725-1837