Clifton Pledges To Help Curb Underage Alcohol Drinking

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Underage Alcohol Drinking

Freeholder Robert D. Clifton says he will carry the message of the Underage Drinking Coalition of Monmouth County and urge municipalities to embrace measures that address the dangers of underage drinking.

"Alcohol use kills six times as many teenagers than all illicit drugs combined, and contributes to illegal activities such as drug use, vandalism and theft," Clifton told coalition members recently at the Agriculture Building off Kozloski Road. "I gladly join your effort to reduce underage drinking."

To help reduce alcohol consumption by young people, the Underage Drinking Coalition of Monmouth County provides educational materials to help raise awareness about the dangers of underage drinking through a program called "Parents Who Host, Lose the Most."

The program highlights for parents that it is illegal to provide anyone under 21 with alcohol, even if in their home; parents can face up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine; others can sue them if they give alcohol to anyone under 21 and they hurt someone, hurt themselves or damage property, and police can confiscate any alcohol, money or property used in committing an offense.

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"We urge parents not to be party to underage drinking," said Barbara T. Sprechman, director of Community Services for Prevention First, a nonprofit agency dedicated to strengthening the foundation of children and families. "For instance, parents should plan to stay at home when their teenage son or daughter has a party, and make sure other teens do not bring alcohol into their home."

The Underage Drinking Coalition of Monmouth County is under the auspices of Prevention First, which serves county residents in a variety of ways through its association with the county's Department of Human Services. Clifton is liaison for that department.

The Coalition enhances the quality and effectiveness of prevention programs and activities throughout Monmouth County by assessing the needs of the community and working with municipal drug alliances, schools and other prevention agencies in order to facilitate a more coordinated effort, promote a sharing of resources, increase participation and decrease duplication of programming.

The goals of the Coalition are as follows:

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