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Thank you for not selling alcohol to youth
Alcohol remains a leading cause of death among young people. Any use of alcohol by adolescents is dangerous and puts them at risk. People who start drinking at an early age are more likely to become alcoholics and have additional problems later in life.
One of the ways to prevent underage drinking is to prevent access to alcohol.
While many youth get their alcohol from family and friends, retailers such as convenience and grocery stores, restaurants and bars play a vital role in this endeavor.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Oregon City Police Department and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission recently conducted a compliance operation to check local retailers' adherence to Oregon law prohibiting the sale of alcohol to minors. The operation involved sheriff office cadets under the age of 21, with their own legal ID, attempting to buy alcohol from local establishments and outlets.
Here in Oregon City, the operation resulted in a 70 percent compliance rate with three out of 10 retailers selling to minors. This is great news because the majority of retailers did not sell. Rea's Deli, Pho Thi, Plaid Pantry stores on Molalla Avenue and Redland Road, Trails End Golf Center, Highland Still House and the Thirsty Duck Saloon should all be congratulated for not selling. By preventing access, these retailers become part of our community efforts to keep kids healthy and drug free.
Members of Oregon City Together, a coalition aimed at preventing youth substance abuse, are visiting these retailers to personally thank them. They are doing a great job! The county, state and coalition also will be working with the retailers that sold alcohol to a minor. The goal is to have a 100 percent compliance rate during the next compliance operation — as well as during every single business day.
But it's certainly not just up to retailers. Parents, friends, families and relatives play important roles by restricting alcohol at home, parties and social events.
Bottom line: Because each of us plays a role in keeping alcohol away from youth, let's all strive for a 100 percent rate of no access. And again, thank you, retailers, for not selling to minors.
From 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, Oregon City Together and the Oregon City School District are hosting an event that discusses how drugs and alcohol impact adolescent brains and what parents should look for and do to keep youth healthy and drug free. The event will be held at Oregon City High School's auditorium.
Doug Neeley is an Oregon City Together board member.