But, after reading the Sheriff’s Corner dated June 6th, I must urge the Sheriff the find and correct the other peace officers who disagree with your actions. They are ether part of the problem or part of the solution, but they can’t have it both ways. They need to realize they are in a supporting role for not only you as Sheriff, but for the community at large. I personally do not want to be on the road with anyone who is or has been drinking and now driving regardless of their age, race, sex or what their elders did or didn’t do as children.
The law is very clear on minors and alcohol, and any law officer who takes their oath of office seriously would not have allowed those youths to continue on their way. It appears none of them were adult enough to own up to the alcohol being theirs, so it had to be everyone’s. If any officer would have released them that officer would have added to the already huge national problem of Underage Drinking. The following are some facts that these officers may need to be reminded of from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to consider before they catch and release any kids for just having a little fun.
Underage Drinking in America
· In 2006, about 10.8 million young people aged 12 to 20 (28.3 percent) reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Approximately 7.2 million (19.0 percent) were binge drinkers and 2.4 million (6.2 percent) were heavy drinkers. These numbers have essentially stayed the same since 2002.
· Traffic crashes are the number one killer of teens and 28 percent of fatal traffic crashes involving teen drivers are alcohol related.
· Alcohol is the number one youth drug problem in America and more young people die from alcohol related incidents than from all other illicit drugs combined.
· Parents are the most common supplier of alcohol to those under 21 and parents are the primary influencer of teens.
· Alcohol use during the teen years, particularly when such use is heavy enough to result in withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of drinking, negatively impacts memory and attention, abilities necessary for negotiating the tasks of adolescence and successfully making the transition into adulthood.
· Underage drinking costs American taxpayers approximately $61.9 billion annually. (above stats are from sources located at www.madd.org)
I can only hope one day soon Goliad can come together again, support each other and become that quaint small town people want to live in.