CLOVIS (KSMX)- On Thursday, October 3, the Curry County Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP) and New Mexico State Police Special Investigations Unit collaborated to bring awareness of underage alcohol drinking in Curry County.
According to the New Mexico Substance Use Epidemiology Profile, December 2018 edition, one (1) out of five (5) Curry County high school students are current alcohol drinkers. Similarly, the 2017 New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (NM YRRS) reported that the number-one way students are getting alcohol is that somebody gave it to them; 56.3% of students self-reported that they obtained alcohol from a family member or an unrelated adult. These local data prove alcohol drinking among youth is a very concerning problem within Curry County.
Tanya Henderson from Curry County OSAP and Agent Dean Marney from NMSP SIU visited local alcohol retailers in Clovis, NM to disseminate 4th-degree felony information. Agent Marney promoted the idea as a simple reminder to not sell or provide alcohol to minors and that an adult has proven to have provided a minor with alcohol in violation of the law and can be found guilty of a fourth-degree felony, which faces a potential prison sentence and/or fines.
For every alcohol purchase made at Walgreens or Hilltop Bottle Shop over the weekend, there will be a red-colored, business card sized tag that will be included with the alcohol purchase. The tags will display messaging about penalties for purchasing or providing alcohol to minors. Hilltop Bottle Shop will also randomly put the tags on alcohol products throughout the store.
This underage alcohol drinking awareness operation represents a partnership between local government agencies, prevention professionals, coalitions, law enforcement, and businesses with the goal of educating adults over the age of 21 of the underage law and raising public awareness about underage drinking.