Town hall focuses on underage drinking in Williamson County

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Jonathan Gunter, 19, said he used to bring bourbon to high school and drink it from a red soda cup during some of his classes. Gunter, who is now in recovery and no longer attends McNeil High School, spoke Thursday night at a town hall meeting LifeSteps Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition in Round Rock about underage drinking. Gunter said his parents’ intervention started him on the road to recovery. He is just a few days shy of finishing high school at University High School in Austin, a school for students in recovery. Gunter said he plans to attend college and become a social worker in substance abuse issues. “Before, I couldn’t imagine a life without drugs or alcohol,” he said. “Now I finally have a direction.” Continue reading

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Local Austin restaurant withdraws request to sell alcohol across from school campus

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In a surprising last-minute change, Torchy’s Tacos on Thursday withdrew a request to the City Council that would have allowed the restaurant to sell alcohol at its South Congress Avenue location after opposition from groups including the Austin school district, nearby neighborhood associations and the grassroots political group Austin Interfaith who said the location could be a negative influence on the impressionable students at Fulmore Middle School across the street. Continue reading

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Intoxicated Drivers Killed 39 People in Austin Last Year. So How Do We Stop Them?

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In a report where researchers considered what most effectively reduces DWIs, enforcement tops the list. But many of the enforcement tactics praised by these researchers are out of the hands of Austin policymakers. For example, these researchers consider sobriety checkpoints to be one of the most effective methods of discouraging DWIs. But in Texas, checkpoints are illegal under state law. The researchers also recommend lowering the legal blood alcohol limit from .08 to.05 – something only state lawmakers could do. Continue reading

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Underage drinking and two alleged sex assaults reported at West Texas A&M Sigma Nu Fraternity in Canyon Texas

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Two alleged sexual assaults have been reported at “an extremely large party” at the Sigma Nu fraternity at West Texas A&M in Canyon Texas on Saturday. Canyon police also reported that there “was an extremely large amount of drinking going on Saturday night.” The two female sexual assault victims are both under the age of 21, police said. Continue reading

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Update: 2 from Dallas area charged in alcohol-poisoning death of Irving teen at 2014 Texas Tech frat party

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Two North Texan men were arrested this week in connection with the 2014 alcohol-poisoning death of a Texas Tech University freshman from Irving. Texas Tech freshman Dalton Debrick, 18, of Irving was found dead Aug. 24, 2014, at a home a mile from the Lubbock campus. His blood alcohol content was found to be 0.324 — more than four times the legal limit for driving. Continue reading

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Alcohol packaging targets children, group says, worrying parents

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A growing number of parents are afraid that alcohol companies are increasingly targeting their kids. The group is worried that the packaging will present problems to uninformed parents and uninformed children. Some drinks look exactly like soda and energy drinks, with just a small marking that it is alcoholic. Continue reading

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Could College Kids Be Sobering Up and Partying Without the Booze, saying the Fun No Longer Outweighs the Risks

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College and drinking: two concepts so closely linked that many students can’t conceive of one without the other. However, it may be surprising to learn that binge drinking among college students has dropped 13% over the past decade. So what’s behind the fall in binge drinking students? What’s the reality of being a sober scholar, and can college be just as fun without drinking? Although it may be impossible to stop students from drinking the rise of the sober party movement is helping sobriety separate from the stigma attached to it, a crucial aspect as young people embrace alcohol-free events. Continue reading

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Spring breaker from Texas dies in Alabama beach town of possible alcohol poisoning

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A college student from Texas Tech University reportedly died on spring break in Alabama and alcohol may have been involved, according to police. Brayden Coverdale, 21, was found unresponsive Sunday at a beach house he was visiting in Orange Beach. Continue reading

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Austin bar faces lawsuit over 2014 SXSW crash, report says

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An Austin bar is being sued for its alleged role in serving alcohol to Rashad Owens before he got into his car and, while fleeing a traffic stop, went on deadly vehicular rampage that killed four people during South By Southwest (SXSW) in 2014. Club 1808 has been named as an additional defendant in a lawsuit first filed in December 2014. The tragedy occurred on Red River Street during SXSW 2014 after a car drove through a crowd of pedestrians and cyclists, killing four. Owens was convicted last year (2015) of murder charges related to the incident. He now faces life in prison. Continue reading

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Corpus Christi using bounty to curb underage drinking

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March 14, 2016 — ABC-13News — CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — The tourist season now under way in Corpus Christi with spring break includes an incentive designed to discourage underage drinking. The Texas Gulf Coast city’s Crime Stoppers group is offering … Continue reading

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7 Ways that Alcohol can Affect Your Health

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You don’t need to drink outrageous amounts of booze every single day for your body to be affected by it. As little as one night of binge drinking can wreck your body in all sorts of ways — which is bad news, considering drinking in excess is incredibly common all around the world. Over consumption of alcohol can do everything from weaken you bones, lead to cancers, burn up your liver and mess with your sleep. Read on for more … Continue reading

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‘Appalling’ Underage Drinking Parties Targeted by Grieving Parents of two students killed in Maryland

The parents of a Maryland teenager killed after an underage drinking party turned grief into action this week to push for stronger laws. Members of the Senate committee unanimously approved the bill Wednesday, drawing cheers from the crowd. Bills introduced in Annapolis would require toughen the penalties for the hosts of underage drinking parties. House Bill 409, named Alex and Calvin’s Law, would a penalty of one-year maximum in jail and double the fine from $2,500 to $5,000 for a first offense for providing alcohol to underage drinkers. Continue reading

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Sorry, kids, but the drinking age should stay at 21; it’s about saving lives

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It seems like conventional wisdom: The drinking age should be 18. After all, why should you be able to vote or serve your country in the military, but not legally buy a drink? But there’s a very compelling case for keeping the drinking age at 21: It saves lives. That may be hard to believe, but at its heart, the drinking age is supposed to stop people from drinking until they’re responsible adults. And the research shows it works — to some extent. So the laws may not be perfect, and they may be disobeyed at times. But the overall evidence is clear: A drinking age of 21 reduces use and saves lives. Continue reading

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Millions spent on ads, but scare tactics won’t prevent underage drinking; youth asset building best solution

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The Australian government invested millions of dollars per year in the ad campaign, designed to prevent underage drinking by scaring teenagers straight. The goal was a worthy one; reducing underage drinking helps reduce numerous negative societal and public health outcomes. But the real question is this: Does the technique work? “All kinds of stuff has been done in the name of prevention, ‘Your brain on drugs’ and all that crap, that wasn’t based on evidence at all,” said Michael Koresky, an educator who was works on youth substance abuse prevention. “There’s not one iota of data that says Red Ribbon campaigns have any effect at all.” Koresky had found himself in underage substance abuse prevention after years of frustration working in treatment and intervention. “(I) just got more and more frustrated trying to help these people, save these people, who are pretty far gone,” he said. “I want to go upstream and … keep them from falling in the river.” Continue reading

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Recent CDC studies reveal alcohol abuse is a growing problem

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Recently a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that alcohol-related deaths in the United States rose 37 percent from 2002 to 2014. Often we focus on reducing underage drinking, however just because you can legally drink doesn’t remove needed concerns over alcohol-related fatalities and alcoholism.
In 2014, there were more than 30,700 deaths from alcohol-related causes. Continue reading

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Early 2016 traffic deaths are occurring throughout Greater Austin region; VisionZero Taskforce talks about solutions

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It’s already a deadly year on Austin-area roadways with three local traffic deaths Monday. Austin itself set a record in 2015 with 102 traffic fatalities. Austin is getting bigger. Not the city-limits but the amount of sprawl between the city and surrounding communities. Traffic experts say the more sprawling a metro area is, the more traffic deaths reported. The local VisionZero Task Force said collecting traffic data, targeting education and more aggressive enforcement and prosecution are expected to be part of an action plan. Continue reading

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Austin hits 102 traffic fatalities for 2015 after spate of crashes

Dec. 31, 2015 – American-Statesman —  The number of Austin traffic fatalities in 2015 reached 102 Thursday — the highest annual toll Austin has ever recorded since the city started tracking the statistic in 1985.  The unusual number of deadly crashes is like “nothing we’ve ever seen before,” Austin police Cpl. Chad Martinka said.   “The numbers are extraordinarily high compared to any previous year we’ve ever had,” he said. “Part of that, I believe, is more traffic congestion. We’ve got this many people moving into the city every day that we’re going to have more crashes and, unfortunately, more fatalities.”
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Underage drinking is an adult problem; Parents who host teen drinking parties: “Helicopter Partying” – Not cool, not smart, says MADD

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“One of the things we say at MADD is that underage drinking is an adult problem,” J.T. Griffin, chief government affairs officer at Mothers Against Drunk Driving says. “In order for kids to get alcohol, there’s an adult somewhere that messed up. Someone bought it for them, someone didn’t put it away, someone left it out in the open for kids.” It’s not just the driving you have to worry about, Goodwin said. Sexual assault, alcohol poisoning. Someone falls off a deck. This is the chaos you create when you throw an underage party, Griffin continues. Continue reading

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More people drinking more; Alcohol death continue to increase; 37% since 2002 says CDC

Alcohol related death has been increased to 37% from 2002. The staggering spike in the numbers suggest that there have been more people dying because of alcohol than drugs like heroin. Continue reading

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Parents can reduce the risk of underage drinking during holidays by locking up alcohol and providing “exit plans” for teens

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Parents, the holidays are wonderful for celebrating, fun and vacation, but it can also be a risky time for you teens when alcohol is often more available.   Increased underage drinking during the holidays comes as many young folks are out … Continue reading

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