Underage drinking continues to be an issue in Odessa
ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -The Odessa Police Department has responded to shootings that involve underage drinking, and have arrested people that have provided alcohol to teens.
Odessa has an ordinance called the social host accountability, that holds the person hosting any sort of gathering responsible for underage drinking.
A problem that continues to grow in the Permian Basin.
Giving alcohol to minors is a crime, no matter where you are. Hotels, motels, public places, and even party busses.
Those people that do can also be charged with violating the social host ordinance.
One local organization that’s mission is to prevent substance abuse and interventions, says it all starts with whoever is in charge.
“If you are providing that place, you’re also providing those risky behaviors. Whether it’s unwanted sexual activity, or like you said, getting in a car after drinking, I mean it’s hard enough without young people and texting, let’s add alcohol to the mix,” said the Permian Basin Regional Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse program director, Sara Hinshaw.
Hinshaw went on to say many young people fall to peer pressure when at a party with alcohol. But says teens need to remember drinking can cause violent behavior or health problems, and getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is a crime.
The Teen Court of Odessa also has its fair share of teenagers who go in for alcohol violations.
“Monthly it varies. Sometimes we’ll see a handful, but over the year, we’ll usually see 30 to 40 kids with alcohol tickets,” said Rebecca Grishham, coordinator for the Teen Court of Odessa.
Grisham says teens that get a second citation for drinking alcohol aren’t allowed to go back to teen court.
Instead, they end up facing a judge. And the citation stays on their record and it could affect their future.
“I wish that they knew that it can damage their future. And that they don’t realize just how dangerous it could be for them,” said Grisham.
If you want more information on these organizations click here for the Permian Basin Regional Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse or here for the Teen Court of Odessa.
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