02/11/14 — Group working to stop underage drinking

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Group working to stop underage drinking

By From staff reports
Published in News on February 11, 2014 1:46 PM

A collaborative effort between WATCH, law enforcement and bar owners is being formed to reduce access to alcohol by underage youth.

The WATCH Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force, or SAPTF, met recently with law enforcement officers from Buncombe County, Sheriff Van Duncan and Lt. Randy Sorrells.

The men spoke to an audience that included representatives from the Goldsboro Police Department, Wayne Memorial Hospital and Wayne County Sheriff's Office.

Among the highlights of their remarks were some of the efforts available to encourage retailers to become more compliant in alcohol sales, said SAPTF Coordinator Karen Padgett.

"We are working to implement a new campaign titled 'Dare to Care,'" she said. "Bar and convenience store owners who adopt a policy to ensure that their staff are training on the Responsible Alcohol Server Program will be recognized as a 'DARE TO CARE' business, A business willing to go the extra mile to ensure that alcohol isn't sold on their premises to underage youth."

Matt Young, one of the owners of The Flying Shamrock at 115 N. John Street who attended the meeting, said he was supportive of the initiative.

"Being a locally owned small business, we truly care about our community and are dedicated to improving it," he said. "Preventing underage drinking is critical to protecting our youth and making our community better. We take underage drinking very seriously and are proud to be a part of this effort to prevent it."

The WATCH Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force meets monthly at Wayne Memorial Hospital cafeteria. New members are welcome.

For more information on the task force, contact Ms. Padgett at 919-587-4136 or karen.padgett@waynehealt.org.