Okmulgee agencies work to prevent underage drinking

By Kyle Norman

OSU Prevention Programs

 

Throughout the year, Region 9 Regional Prevention Coordinator (RPC) and the Okmulgee County Drug Free Communities (DFC), offer free Merchant Training for all Okmulgee County Alcohol Vendors. Letters are sent to all vendors and media is run about the events.  The purpose of these trainings is to educate vendors about alcohol laws, the importance of not selling alcohol to minors, how to recognize fake IDs, and how to read IDs.

One of the laws discussed at Merchant Training seminars is the “Prevention of Youth Access to Alcohol Act.”  

This is an Oklahoma state law that protects youth from the harmful effects of alcohol use by making it illegal to provide or sell alcohol or low point beer to anyone under the age of 21. This law is continually being enforced by law enforcement agencies. If this harmful substance is sold to a person under the legal age, the contributor will face legal consequences consisting of an expensive citation, possible jail time, and/or felony charges.   

Providing alcohol to youth not only has legal consequences for the merchant, but there are also harmful effects for the child.  Youth who drink are more likely to do poorly in school, engage in risky sexual behavior, get in accidents, become violent, and do poorly in social situations.  

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