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Kentucky Curbs Underage Drinking, Gets National Award
KSP recognizes ABC, other partners

Date of Release: 09/21/05

FRANKFORT, KY (Sept. 21, 2005) - The Kentucky State Police (KSP) Governor's Highway Safety Program recently received a national award for its efforts to reduce underage drinking.

The Governor's Highway Safety Program (GHSP) program received the award during a recent national conference in Tucson from the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center. The award was for GHSP's Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program, which has helped reduce underage youth's access to alcohol at establishments licensed to sell liquor to an all-time low of 17 percent.

Teens and alcohol have proven to be a serious and often deadly combination, said KSP Commissioner Mark L. Miller. "Kentucky is working hard to reduce this problem," said Miller, who is also the Governor's Highway Safety Representative. "Kentucky was one of only 16 states in the nation to receive recognition for its innovation and perseverance in reducing underage drinking."

Miller also recognized the state's Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) as a major partner in the underage drinking initiatives. "Because of our partnerships with ABC, local law enforcement and other agencies, Kentucky has observed its lowest non-compliance rate among alcohol-licensed establishments," said Miller.

Jim Acquisto, ABC's director of enforcement, said agency collaborations are the key to reducing underage drinking. "We at the Enforcement Division of ABC are vigilant in monitoring underage accessibility to alcohol in Kentucky. By partnering with agencies like the Kentucky State Police, we will continue to impact underage drinking in Kentucky, and make the Commonwealth a safer place," said Acquisto.

The noncompliance rate decreased from 26 percent in 1998 to 17 percent in 2004. The rate averaged 17 percent from January through August of this year. This state's noncompliance rate decrease illustrates that reductions in youth access are possible through a coordinated, comprehensive approach, said Lt. Eric Walker, commander of the GHSP.

"We are very pleased to have brought home this national award," said Walker. "This just goes to prove that through enforcement and education programs such as these and by partnering on a local, state and national level, we can and do make a difference."

Funding for the underage drinking programs comes from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Underage Drinking, a federal block grant program. It's administered through the GHSP to the ABC as well as other agencies. Those include: Bluegrass Regional Prevention Center, Kentucky Crime Prevention Center, KSP, MADD Kentucky, Morehead State University, Brescia University, Centre College, Eastern Kentucky University, Murray State University, St. Catharine College, St. Thomas More College and the University of Kentucky.

Underage Drinking Statistics

Contact Information for the Kentucky State Police

Kentucky State Police
919 Versailles Road | Frankfort, KY 40601

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