Prevention Works

Law Enforcement

Alcohol Enforcement Teams

Coupled with an active public education and prevention strategy, Alcohol Enforcement Teams (AETs) are intended to implement evidence-based environmental strategies to reduce underage alcohol use and its harmful consequences. Enforcement of existing laws to restrict use and access by youth is one of the most useful tools in prevention, and prevention agency/law enforcement partnerships can lead to some of our most powerful and sustainable outcomes.

The AET model, which includes community coalition maintenance and development, merchant education, and law enforcement partnership, specifies a multi- or single-jurisdictional alcohol law enforcement approach (depending on the needs and participation of law enforcement within the target area) in a community to:

  • Reduce youth access to alcohol utilizing various strategies (social and retail access)
  • Measure, track, and improve merchant compliance with alcohol laws
  • Provide research-based merchant education
  • Build community support for enforcement of underage drinking laws through media advocacy and community coalition maintenance and development
  • Develop local law enforcement support for underage drinking prevention and enforcement efforts

Each year, the AETs hold an “Out of Their Hands” (OOTH) Spring Blitz. During this annual event, strict enforcement of underage drinking laws is coupled with strong media messages throughout the month. The AETs and their enforcement and education partners engage community residents, businesses, and others to deny alcohol access to youth who are less than 21 years of age. The simple message of the OOTH campaign is that the AETs work with the community to keep alcohol “out of their hands.”

For more information on the OOTH campaign and the AETs, click here.

Parents Who Host, Lose the Most

In 2007, DAODAS adopted the national “Parents Who Host, Lose The Most” public awareness campaign to provide parents with accurate information about the health risks of underage drinking and the legal consequences of providing alcohol to youth. The campaign encourages parents and the community to send a unified message that teen alcohol consumption is not acceptable. It is illegal, unsafe, and unhealthy for anyone under age 21 to drink alcohol.

The Facts

  • It is illegal to give alcohol to your teen’s underage friends under any circumstances – even in your own home, even with their parents’ permission.
  • You cannot knowingly allow a person under 21, other than your own child, to consume or possess alcohol in your home or on your property.

What can happen if you break the law

  • You face a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and $1,075 in fines and fees.
  • Your penalties can “stack up,” as you can be ticketed for each underage person you provide with alcohol.
  • You can be sued if you give alcohol to anyone under 21 and they, in turn, hurt someone, hurt themselves or damage property.

What you can do to protect yourself

  • Refuse to supply alcohol to anyone under 21
  • Be at home when your teen has friends over
  • Make sure that alcohol is not brought into your home or property by your teen’s friends
  • Talk to other parents about not providing alcohol at other events your child will be attending
  • Create alcohol-free opportunities and activities in your home so teens feel welcome
  • Report underage drinking to local law enforcement

For more information on “Parents Who Host, Lose the Most,” click here.