Anderson County Law Enforcement, County Commission and City Councils Come Together to Reduce Underage Drinking

Clinton Police Department Assistant Chief Vaughn Becker. ACSO Chief Deputy Mark Lucas, ACSO Deputy David Massengill, Oak Ridge Police Department Deputy Chief Robin Smith, Anderson County Beer Board Member R.C. Burton, TopShelf Responsible Beverage Services Owner Kim Pouncey, Oak Ridge Beer Board Member and County Commissioner Theresa Scott, County Commissioner Rick Meredith, County Commissioner Jerry Creasey, County Commissioner Steven Mead, Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission Assistant Special Agent in Charge Stephanie Smith, County Commissioner Myron Iwanski, Oak Ridge City Council Member Kelly Callison, Rocky Top City Recorder Michael Foster, and Anderson County Schools A.W.A.R.E. Director Kim Guinn discuss future plans to reduce underage drinking in Anderson County.
Clinton Police Department Assistant Chief Vaughn Becker. ACSO Chief Deputy Mark Lucas, ACSO Deputy David Massengill, Oak Ridge Police Department Deputy Chief Robin Smith, Anderson County Beer Board Member R.C. Burton, TopShelf Responsible Beverage Services Owner Kim Pouncey, Oak Ridge Beer Board Member and County Commissioner Theresa Scott, County Commissioner Rick Meredith, County Commissioner Jerry Creasey, County Commissioner Steven Mead, Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission Assistant Special Agent in Charge Stephanie Smith, County Commissioner Myron Iwanski, Oak Ridge City Council Member Kelly Callison, Rocky Top City Recorder Michael Foster, and Anderson County Schools A.W.A.R.E. Director Kim Guinn discuss future plans to reduce underage drinking in Anderson County.

Over the past couple years, Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County has held meetings with representatives of law enforcement, county commission and city councils from municipalities across Anderson County to identify the local conditions that are contributing to underage drinking. “Because of the many ways minors can obtain alcohol, every community needs an approach that includes our leaders, law enforcement, businesses, schools, and above all parents” says Kim Pouncey. This task force implemented multiple strategies over the last two years including: hosting responsible alcohol sales classes; conducting increased alcohol compliance checks; providing point-of-sale materials to merchants; implementing the use of passive alcohol sensors at school events; and several municipalities passed ordinances to mandate all sellers of alcohol take the responsible alcohol sales classes.

“The Underage Drinking Task Force has formed effective strategies in helping law enforcement and our community partners in reducing underage drinking in Anderson County. These efforts are showing positive results in this most important issue” said Chief Deputy Mark Lucas of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department. Through the support of the task force in implementing these strategies, the following outcomes were achieved to reduce the harms of underage drinking:
• Increased alcohol outlet compliance by almost 23%
• Reduced prevalence of clerks asking for ID but selling alcohol to adolescents anyway by 22%
• Decreased percentage of alcohol-related school discipline events by 78%
• Decreased underage drinking by 43%

On Tuesday, April 5th at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, the task force came together to recognize the remarkable outcomes achieved and to plan for continued initiatives to maintain and further reduce underage drinking in our community. One strategy that was identified was the need to increase the awareness to adults and parents in the community of Tennessee’s Social Host Liability Law which makes it against the law for a host to knowingly allow an underage adult (someone who is younger than 21 years old) to consume alcohol on property that the host owns or controls. Any adult who supplies or allows minors to obtain alcohol or other unlawful substances can be charged with social hosting and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. This is especially important to remember this time of year as prom and graduation is right around the corner.

Anderson County Commissioner and Oak Ridge Beer Board Member Theresa Scott said “I think that it’s great to see that the merchants have become more aware of their liabilities when serving beer and alcohol and are ensuring that their employees take asking for identification seriously.” The task force recognizes that merchants have the same goal of wanting to maintain compliance and offers the point of sale materials to merchants including ID checking guides, ID coders, age verification calendars, lighted magnifying glasses, table tents and window clings and can also provide assistance to any merchants who would like to strengthen their store policies regarding alcohol sales. Businesses can contact ASAP at 457-3007 for materials or assistance.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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