Underage drinking

Sunday, July 11, 2004

The Kansas City Star

To really curb underage drinking ... the enablers must be stopped. Catching and punishing adults who supply alcohol to teens is the key. It will discourage party-hosting with a wink that puts young people at risk.

Two new laws -- one in Missouri and the other in Kansas -- give law enforcement officers better tools for stopping the suppliers of underage drinkers. These laws, effective July 1, will save lives. Missouri's statute is aimed at adults who provide kegs at teenage beer parties. It requires purchasers of kegs or containers of at least 4 gallons of liquor to register at the liquor store. The new system helps law officers who bust a beer party to track down the purchaser. A similar law has helped deter underage drinking in Kansas. It's a smart idea.

Parents are said to be the best antidote to drug and alcohol abuse. But too many adults need to be convinced that their role is to cut off the supply, not furnish it.

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