Youths, not stores, responsible for drinking

Posted: Friday, June 02, 2000

It's graduation time again and we want to wish all graduating seniors the best of luck as they pursue the next phase of life. At the same time, with all the parties planned in celebration, we want to take a moment to remind everyone of the dangers of underage drinking.

Every statistic shows that combining underage drinking with driving is one of the leading causes of death among young people. It's not cool, despite what your peers think, and it can seriously injure or kill you or a friend. So, hit the alcohol-free parties and enjoy a momentous time in your life.

And with the parties planed, the Juneau Police and state Alcohol Beverage Control Board initiated a sting last week, nailing 10 clerks at eight of the 30 stores checked for selling alcohol to minors.

We're all for such operations as they serve as a way to ensure responsible selling of alcohol to those old enough to purchase it. At the same time, there's a catch. We believe those stores caught in the sting are responsible in who they sell to. In fact, during the last such check in 1997, all 11 businesses, including some caught in the last sting, checked identification of those underage. Sometimes, unfortunately, someone slips through, despite the probably dozens of underaged people turned away all the time.

And so we encourage those businesses to be even more diligent in checking identification. That of course, means you might get hit up for some ID. Don't let it bother you. As you get older, you'll be gratified and feel like a million bucks every time someone asks.

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