Underage Drinking and high alcohol consumption on Halloween adds more Austin police to downtown streets


Don’t be a drunk pumpkin

Oct. 28, 2014 — With plenty of Halloween events in Austin this weekend party-goers will seen increased patrol by local police.  APD will triple officers downtown looking for underage drinking and drunk drivers.    Underage drinking is a concern for Gloria Souhami, director of the Travis County Attorney’s Underage Drinking Taskforce.   She adds that if a minor drinks alcohol they are breaking the law and so are the adults who supply the alcohol. 

“Anytime you have huge numbers and alcohol consumption you have the potential for bad incidents to happen and we’re trying to get out in front of that,” APD Commander Troy Officer told MyFox News.   “If you’re irresponsible the boogie man with the badge will take you to jail,” said Officer.  The F1 race at Circuit of Americas will also be in town this weekend.

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4 frat members of Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln fraternity arrested after freshman dies at party from alcohol poisoning

ClaytonRealSeptember 2014 — Four students have been arrested and a fraternity has been suspended in connection with the death of a University of Nebraska-Lincoln freshman in September.  Clayton Real, an 18-year-old freshman, was found dead Sept. 5 in a fraternity at UNL.  Police said that Real attended an off-campus “frosh” party and passed out from intoxication. Fraternity members took him back to his room, he was found dead the next morning.   An autopsy showed that Real died of acute alcohol intoxication with a blood alcohol level of .378.

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Alcohol sales in Austin up 10 percent in August

8800714142Oct 23, 2014 — Austin bars, restaurants and hotels saw a strong finish to the summer season, with alcohol sales jumping 10 percent from last year, according to reporter Gary Dinges from the Austin American-Statesman.  American-Statesman analysis found that $50.6 million worth of beer, wine and mixed rinks were sold citywide last month, up from $45.9 million in 2013.

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More high school & college students that drove impaired under the influence of marijuana, not alcohol

DruggedDriving ChartOctober 2014 – the NIDA Blog - Most people know that drinking and driving is incredibly dangerous. Its reputation as a major risk has been cemented through the preventable deaths of thousands of people and years of education and awareness efforts.

But it turns out—drugged driving is a major problem too. A recent study found that more high school seniors and college students that drove impaired or with an impaired driver were under the influence of marijuana, not alcohol.

The study also found that drugged drivers are more likely to have car accidents and traffic tickets or warnings. But it’s not just dents to your car or points on your license—for some people, drugged driving is how they die.

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City report concerning recent SXSW includes issues of alcohol consumption and overstuffed venues

Austin SXSW Drunk Driver Crash

Austin SXSW Drunk Driver Crash

Reported on 09/05/14 by the Austin American Statesman, “next year’s South by Southwest festival could look very different, with fewer pop-up events, less crowded venues and lines, more police patrolling downtown and a downtown shuttle to ease parking and traffic problems.”  The story continues: “The city will likely get some push-back from SXSW organizers, though the report makes clear that many of the pop-up events not sanctioned by South by Southwest are to blame for problems with overcrowded venues and excessive alcohol consumption.”

“The report identifies two major issues contributing to safety problems during the festival: alcohol consumption and overstuffed venues …  Many of these events offer free alcohol, and the report suggests better coordination with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The report recommended having more TABC officers present during the festival and encourages the agency to consider limiting how and when free alcohol is served.”

The report comes in the wake of the Red River Street auto crash at the March event which claimed the live of several festival goers and injured dozens more.

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New AZ law attempts to discourage “fake IDs” by requiring horizonal format for any alcohol purchases

MinorSting PictureAnyone who produces a vertical driver’s license for age verification can no longer purchase alcohol in Arizona, regardless of whether the holder is 21.  AZ Senate Bill 1397, amends state statute to say identification issued to a person when they are younger than 21 is no longer acceptable for alcohol purchases after a 30-day grace period once the person turns 21.   The change is intended to discourage those who obtain a new, horizontal driver’s license after turning 21 from passing on their still-valid vertical licenses to someone who is underage and might use it to purchase alcohol or get into bars.

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Divers find missing 20-year-old’s body in San Marcos River; locals ponder role of alcohol in tragedy

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08/10/14 – SAN MARCOS — Game wardens said witnesses told them alcohol might have played a part in the 20-year-old man’s suspected drowning. Alcohol plays a big role in tubing, no matter the river. Some nearby residents and business owners said they believe the culture of drinking surrounding the river has gotten out of control. “Anything that happens on this river during those times, there’s some alcohol involved,” said San Marcos resident David Smith. Continue reading

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Society’s drinking problem goes unchecked, over-serving alcohol at venues becomes normal for youths and adults both

A parent gets a call saying their kid is in a hospital or in jail, is raped, or is killed driving home, there is always a cacophony of “How did this happen?” It happens because venues often look the other way while people get drunk or stoned — they do not do enough to stop it from happening.

It’s not just an underage drinking problem. It’s a societal drinking problem. Adults drink all day and night. Young people do the same. Adults play tailgating drinking games. Young people play their own games with maybe a little more alcohol and some pills to help the buzz along. Continue reading

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UT gets it right on recent sexual assault by football players

August 5, 2014 – “At the University of Texas at Austin, we’re seeing a model for how college administrations should handle sexual assault cases: by supporting survivors from the very beginning,” says Julia Spann writing for The Texas Tribune.  “Head … Continue reading

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Most recent Gallup Poll shows 74% still favor 21 years of age minimum drinking age

underage drinkingThe majority of Americans think the drinking age should remain at 21, a new Gallup poll said.  74% of Americans polled would oppose legislation seeking to move the drinking age to 18.  These numbers are comparable to past Gallup measurements on the issue, even though the legal age of 21 is higher than that of nearly every other country.  Even young adults want to keep the age as is: only 24% of those 18-29 want to lower the age. Similar results were found in 2001 and 2007.

The impetus for that law was to reduce young people’s deaths from drinking and driving. Research shows the law did lower the number of vehicle deaths, especially among young adults, but that numbers are still high.

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Fake IDs are popular, but can be risky … Is it really smart giving an online overseas company all your personal info?


Doormen checking IDs outside bars

The market for fake IDs among high school and college students has never been stronger, say teenagers and legal experts.  Many are purchased online from oversea companies.  The danger, security experts say, is that nothing is stopping such sites from using your personal information for nefarious means.  “If these companies can use your information to make an ID for you, they can use it to make an ID for someone else,” say a spokesperson with the Identity Theft Resource Center.   Customers don’t have to put their real information on a fake ID, but many do, in order to decrease the likelihood of being exposed.

The alternative, trying to make your own ID, is even riskier. William Finley Trosclair and his college roommate were arrested in 2011 for selling high-quality fake IDs to students at the University of Georgia and other schools. Originally believing he would be charged with a misdemeanor, Mr. Trosclair, now 23, ended up serving three months in prison and paying $6,500 in fines, to say nothing of legal fees.

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Taking issue with the drinking age; say some MDs, the law may target the wrong teen behavior

A professor of psychology at Vassar College, has spent her career trying to understand what happens with the typical adolescent brain. Baird argues that if anything, in terms of biology, the age limits on driving and drinking should be flipped.
She says, “I would move the drinking age to 18 and maybe not let them drive until they were 21.” Continue reading

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GAUDPC: Help prevent underage drinking

The three primary causes of death for youth each year, homicide, suicide and accident fatalities, but alcohol remains the primary causative factor of each category of death. The Greater Austin Underage Drinking Prevention Council (GAUDPC) wants families to have fun this summer with holiday events, picnics and time off from school. Having a healthy and safe family-oriented summer should be priority one. Continue reading

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Binge Drinking Teens: What and Where They Drink — John Hopkin’s study reports

Adults drink alcoholic beverages more frequently than young people, but when kids do drink they tend to drink a lot. Binge drinking in teens is becoming epidemic, as more young people use alcohol than illegal drugs or tobacco. Teens most frequently drink at the home of a friend, and average 4 to 4.9 drinks on that occasion. Continue reading

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Austin police frustrated with DWI conviction rates

DWI arrests in Travis County are up nearly 24 percent over the past three years, yet KVUE News discovered more than a third of cases did not receive DWI convictions. According to records provided by the Travis County Attorney’s office, 37 percent of all first time DWI cases are re-filed as other charges, like obstruction, received deferred prosecution or a dismissal. Continue reading

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5 Tips to Help Parents With the Underage Drinking Conversation

Talking to your teens about drinking can be difficult and awkward. But this conversation doesn’t have to be impossible, weird or fraught with tension. Now is the time to prepare yourself for this conversation and use this trust to open up a dialogue about alcohol. Continue reading

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Man Charged with Intoxication Manslaughter for Crash Killed 2

Police have charged a man for the deaths of a man and a five-year-old boy killed in a crash in Northeast Austin Tuesday night. Marco Oliva-Quevedo, 27, has been charged with murder and intoxication manslaughter. Continue reading

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17-year-old Houston student found dead in hotel room after prom; alcohol, drugs also in the room

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Jacqueline Gomez was excited for her high school prom. But something went wrong. The 17-year-old’s body was found just before 11 a.m. Saturday, May 17 in a room at the Hyatt Hotel where MacArthur High School held its prom the night before. “The boyfriend stated to us they had been drinking alcohol prior to going to sleep,” news reports said. A detective told a TV news reporter they were also looking into whether prescription painkillers were involved. Continue reading

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UT-Austin takes steps to protect students from sexual assault; easy access to alcohol-infused fraternity parties one problem

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In 2010, 18-year-old Sarah Ellis was kidnapped and raped during Summer orientation at UT, a violent crime made possible by an unregulated, booze-filled fraternity party. While it may have been an isolated and extreme incident, and her assailant was not a student, it was the sort of crime that raises official alarms. “One in five women is sexually assaulted in college.” This stark statistic is the opening sentence of the new White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault, released April 29 at a press conference in Washington. ” … fewer than 5% of the rapes or attempted rapes were reported to law enforcement, but … 9 in 10 of the women knew their assailants, and roughly two-thirds of the rapes took place off-campus.” Continue reading

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Most teens get alcohol without consent from an adult; starting a conversation with your teen can help them avoid risky behavior later

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“Two-thirds of teens ages 13 to 18 gain access to alcohol from their homes without consent from an adult.” With summer approaching, many adolescents find themselves unsupervised for longer periods of time. That unsupervised time can lead to dangerous consequences, but parents can help teens avoid those consequences by talking about the dangers of underage drinking, says the American Medical Association. Continue reading

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