With warm weather approaching, the Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control Bureau of Enforcement will once again target underage drinking in the rural and recreational areas of the state.
During the spring and summer months of 2007, ABC agents made over 130 arrests of minors in possession of beer and alcohol in a statewide effort to curb underage drinking. “ABC agents joined with county law enforcement officials and officers from the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks at places such as the Ross Barnett Reservoir, Bogue Chitto River, and coastal waters” said Chief Mark Hicks, Director of Enforcement for the ABC. Many of the teens arrested were involved in activity such as boating, jet-skiing, and tubing.
Based on the success of last year’s program, and at the request of local law enforcement, the ABC Bureau of Enforcement will again team with local and state law enforcement agencies and use grant funding made available through the Department of Public Safety to patrol these areas. Nationally, 1,700 youths die each year from alcohol related accidents and over 600,000 are injured. “Alcohol and minors are not a good combination and we want everyone enjoying our recreational areas to be safe in 2008,” said Hicks.