Tuesday, December 04, 2007

New Drink Law In Effect

Providers of alcohol to underage drinkers will now find themselves without wheels if convicted.
A state law that went into effect Saturday requires that people convicted of this class one misdemeanor have their licenses revoked for one year.
Many Chapel Hill residents did not seem to be aware of the increased punishment, but proponents of the change say that it might deter underage drinking.
"We don't want to go into the homes and control the parents, but certainly we are responsible for the safety of our citizens," said N.C. Rep. Linda Coleman, D-Wake, a primary bill sponsor.
Coleman said the bill was introduced in response to the recent drunken driving deaths of several Wake County high schoolers. It passed the state legislature overwhelmingly in July.
"Typically when we hear about parents providing alcohol, it is when someone has died," said Ron Bogle, deputy director of the Coalition for Alcohol & Drug Free Teenagers of Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
The misdemeanor charge has not effectively reduced the problem, Bogle said. He said he hopes that a "more practical punishment" will be a deterrent.
But some Chapel Hill residents expressed no knowledge of the changes and had mixed reactions when told about the penalty.
Cranston Hunter, a 20-year-old Chapel Hill resident, said that the punishment fits and that providers of alcohol should know better.
"If you have the guts to do that, you should have the guts to deal with the penalty," he said.
But others see the punishment as excessive. UNC junior Allen Spicer said a friend had his license revoked one year for drunken driving.
"This law sends the message that it may be equal in the eyes of the court to get a sober (under 21) friend to drive you to the store as to drive yourself when you're drunk," he said. Spicer, 20, said he doubts the change will be effective.
"As long as there's a demand for (underage drinking), it's going to happen," he said.
UNC students likely are to be the hardest hit in the community by increased penalties.
College students nationwide spend more than $5.5 billion per year on alcohol, more than they spend on books, soda, coffee, juice and milk combined, said Craig Lloyd , executive director of the N.C. chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
"Many college students are acing Drinking 101 but failing to learn the class about alcohol," he said.
In Chapel Hill, university students are the demographic most often cited for providing alcohol to a minor, said Lt. Kevin Gunter, Chapel Hill Police Department spokesman.
Earlier laws on providing alcohol to underage people make exceptions for religious ceremonies, Gunter said, but they do not distinguish for the amount of alcohol.
"It doesn't matter from our standpoint whether it's one beer or a keg of beer," he said.
There have been five citations this year for providing alcohol to a minor, he said. But he said that in 15 years with the Chapel Hill police department, he has never seen a case that involved a parent being cited for providing a drink with dinner.
Anne Shelton, a member of the CADF, said that although her kids don't drink, she doesn't object to underage children having wine with family.
"On the other hand, if my kids had a party and had other people's kids over, then it would not be smart of me to offer them open access to my liquor cabinet," she said.
"The chances are that somebody is going to end up getting hurt."
    Changes to N.C. alcohol laws as of Dec. 1:
  • Being convicted for giving malt beverages, unfortified wine, fortified wine, spirituous liquor or mixed beverages to anyone younger than 21 years old, which already is a class one misdemeanor, now will result in the Division of Motor Vehicles revoking the offender's driver's license for one year.
  • A person who is older than 21 years old who is convicted of aiding or abetting someone who is younger than the legal drinking age in the purchase, attempt to purchase or possess alcohol now will result in the Division of Motor Vehicles revoking the offender's driver's license for one year.
  • If a person's license is revoked for giving alcohol to someone who is younger than 21 years old or aiding someone who is younger than the lawful age to drink alcohol, they will now be eligible to apply for limited driving privileges.
Contact the City Editor at citydesk@unc.edu
by Max Rose Staff Writer at The Daily Tar Heel

Friday, November 16, 2007

30 Cited For Alcohol Violations in Chapel Hill

Law-enforcement agents wrote citations to 30 people during a compliance check with alcohol laws in Chapel Hill. Officers and state Alcohol Law Enforcement agents entered bars and retail stores around town and issued citations for 47 violations.

"This compliance check is part of the Chapel Hill Police Department's ongoing efforts to address underage drinking and other alcohol-related violations in our community," said Lt. Kevin Gunter, of Chapel Hill Police.

22 citations for underage possession of alcohol
13 citations for possession of fictitious identification
4 people charged with aiding and abetting underage possession
2 businesses cited for serving alcohol w/o operators' license
3 charges for underage purchase and consumption

Friday, November 09, 2007

Fall Meeting Notes 2007

Ann Shelton spoke about the Safe Homes Network and getting parents to "take the pledge" to keep our young adults safe. Information packets have been sent to parents by working with the school system. Also, announcements have been made in the schools and information has been placed in the school newsletters. Want to join? Click here for the PDF form.

Ron spoke about the NHTSA Project which Mary Easley kicked off in September that will become a model for the nation. They are also involved in the First Offenders Program which includes working with Judges, District Attorneys, Psychologists and Behavior Specialists. He mentioned the Surgeon Generals Call to Action, the Party and Saturation Patrols. Check out the new resources at StopImpairedDriving.com.

Joel Booker, Captain, Carrboro Police Dept, who has teens of his own, spoke about how folks like Dale and Judge Vogel have helped to change the thinking of law enforcement. He is very active in seeing that our youths get help. It means more than just involving parents.

Kevin Gunter, Lieutenant, Chapel Hill Police Dept, spoke about how the laws have changed so that young adults can be cited for consumption. Physical possession is not as much a factor and it is up to the discretion of the officer in making the decision to cite a youth. He is also sincere in involving Parents, Educators and Mental Health Professionals.

Stephanie Willis, CHCCS, spoke about the Safe and Drug Free Schools and the Safe Schools Tip Line. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and the Drug-Free Community Survey have been merged to give a better analysis of our youths attitudes, perceptions and beliefs. Results will be posted on the district website in mid December.

Q. What gives Cat's Cradle and Blend the ability to host benefits (e.g. 80's Dance and Battle of the Bands) where minors attend amidst youths of age willing to share their purchases.
A. Blend closes their bar. Cat's Cradle labels minors (e.g. stamping their hands, wearing bands). There are currently no laws forcing a business to deny a minor access just because they have a license to sell alcohol.

Jamezetta Bedford, Chair of the School Board, received many nods after she made a request that a message be sent about the Coalition to the UNC-CH Chancellor Search Committee.

Judy, ABC Board, talked about advocating for installation of I.D. Scanners in the stores. They now have "Speaking to your Child about Alcohol" brochures available. ABC has also been helping to fund the Coalition.

Jeff Lloyd, Asst Youth Dir Chapel Hill YMCA, has had successful Middle School Dances. These nights include open basketball, having the aerobics room become a dance hall and making concessions available. The participant numbers are 350 and growing and Law Enforcement is present. A capitol campaign has begun to raise 5 million to build a Youth Center. Please contact Jeff Lloyd, Asst Youth Dir Jerry Whortan, Exec Dir or Drew Smith, Devel Dir for more information on donating or getting involved.

Kerry, spoke about Block Captains and community involvement. They had success at the Lake Hogan Halloween get together by parent communication and involvement. She has also been active in coordinating Parent Forums, Reality Check and Media Literacy programs at several of the schools.

Michael Eisen, NC Dept of MHDDSAS, spoke about First Lady Easley working with the Federal Trade Commission to place limits on the alcohol ads, Community Watch Programs, NC State hosting the Surgeon Generals Call to Action, Media Ready a media literacy program, Safe & Drug-Free Community Counselors beginning training, and the "Tipping Point". A tipping point is where the community takes control from the vendors of the vice. For example, the impact that "Truth" had on cigarette sales. Take It Back is a national youth-directed movement to reduce alcohol problems.

Stephanie Willis, CHCCS, spoke again about including information about substance abuse in more than just the health classes and including subjects such as brain biology in the health classes. She talked about Jim Wise holding debates about substance abuse and calling it "Class Action".

The final speaker brought up the topic of compulsive gambling and how addictive it could become.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Community Coalition Meeting

The Coalition for Alcohol & Drug Free Teenagers
of Chapel Hill & Carrboro
invites you attend our Fall lunch meeting on:
Thursday, November 8 at 12 noon.
This meeting is an opportunity to report out to the community about the many exciting and promising Coalition initiatives, as well as to hear from you as to concerns, celebrations or needs. An agenda will be sent out just prior to the meeting.

A "complimentary lunch" will be provided. Please kindly RSVP before November 5th if you plan to attend this meeting so we can be sure to have enough food on hand.

Location: Squid's Restaurant, 1201 15-501 Hwy Bypass, Chapel Hill, 942-8757 This meeting is free and open to the public. Please forward this invite to others who might like to attend.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Dale Pratt-Wilson, Director
The Coalition for Alcohol & Drug Free Teenagers
of Chapel Hill and Carrboro

Saturday, September 08, 2007

US Surgeon General on Underage Drinking

U.S. Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Kenneth P. Moritsugu
Mary P. Easley First Lady of North Carolina
Invite you to attend a public seminar about the
"Call to Action to Reduce and Prevent Underage Drinking"
Wednesday, September 12, 2007 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Stewart Theatre, Talley Student Center
2610 Cates Avenue, North Carolina State University Campus
More information will be available soon at

I hope you will plan to attend this
important public event. Please feel
free to contact me if you need
additional information.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Late Nite @ the Y

Friday, January 26th, A Safe and Fun Night Out for Teens

The Coalition and the Chapel-Hill Carrboro YMCA are hosting the second in a series of safe and fun evenings out for all area high schoolers (grade 9-12). This "Late Nite @ the Y" event has been expanded to include all Orange County Schools, Durham Academy, Carolina Friends and Emerson Waldorf students. It will be held on Friday, January 26th from 9 pm to 12 Midnight. Two future Late Nite's are scheduled for Friday, March 23 and May 18th.

We'll have a D.J., dancing, full-court basketball, Walleyball, concessions and to top-off the list of fun things to do, kids can try out the Y's newest acquisition, "Dance Dance Revolution"!

To ensure everyone's safety, Chapel Hill and Carrboro police officers will be on-site as well as Y staff and parent volunteers to provide adequate supervision.

Cost is $5 per person at the door.

Once again, I would like to express my personal gratitude to the YMCA for providing their leadership, facility and youth expertise in hosting these events for our kids. Together, we support our youth in making healthy choices about their lives and we are committed to providing them with safe and fun-filled opportunities where alcohol and drug use is not peer-pressured or expected.

I hope you will join with me in showing support for this and similar events. To volunteer for "Late Nite @ the Y" or make a donation to YMCA hosted substance-free activities, please contact me or Jeff Lloyd at the YMCA 942-5156.

All my best,