Monday, October 4, 2004
The Joplin Globe
Just how do you keep underage teens from quaffing a few beers?
Increasing penalties, say, by taking away or denying the opportunity for a driver's license or withholding a diploma? Hitting adults who supply the beer or liquor to minors with automatic jail time or heavy fines? Higher taxes on beer?
There is an answer, but only if society can agree that underage drinking is a problem and not a rite of passage. ...
The real culprit in underage drinking is the apparent disdain for the law shown by those involved and the lack of concern for the consequences.
That won't change without tougher laws, stricter enforcement and harsher penalties, all designed to get and keep the attention of minors, parents and would-be suppliers. A get-tough policy would send a strong message that underage drinking is absolutely, totally unacceptable in Missouri.