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6/5/2014 6:00:00 AM
New AZYP campaign focuses on adults buying alcohol for minors
CHRISTINA MILLS/Miner
CHRISTINA MILLS/Miner
CHRISTINA MILLS/Miner
CHRISTINA MILLS/Miner

Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - Rebecca Southall got a pleasant surprise recently when she rolled out Arizona Youth Partnership's new "Party Foul" campaign to remind adults that buying liquor for minors is still illegal.

"The businesses were welcoming, supportive and think what we are doing is a good idea," said Southall, family relationship educator at AzYP in Kingman. "They don't want our youth using alcohol. And they don't want adults buying it in their stores and selling it to young people. I think this program will make a difference in our community. People are acknowledging there is a problem here."

The campaign, which began last week, features display cards and flyers with a referee in a striped shirt holding up a yellow flag and announcing "It's a party foul to provide alcohol to minors." The blunt reminders are posted at cash registers, bars and in aisles and coolers where alcohol is sold. AzYP is adding window clings to the arsenal soon.

Trish Ford, community development coordinator for AzYP in Kingman, said retailers are doing a good job of checking identification, but youth seeking alcohol are finding other ways to get it. One such way is called "shoulder tapping," where a random adult who is buying liquor is approached outside of a store and asked to sell a few cans or bottles.

"I love the idea of this campaign," said Mike Power, manager of Gas N Grub at Northern Avenue and Benton Street, noting the store requires identification from anyone 35 years and under. "I've never been hit by youth 'shoulder tapping,' and hopefully these reminders will head off any of that behavior. There are stiff laws against that and it's scary."

The campaign also includes interaction with youth and their parents to get the message out, such as signing pledge agreements, handing out large whistles with the reminder and small plastic bottles holding cards with table topics they can discuss. AzYP is a nonprofit agency that tries to help rural youth and families choose healthier lifestyles.

An Arizona Youth Survey conducted by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission every two years shows that alcohol use has decreased, but continues to remain a problem. In 2006, when AzYP began in Mohave County, it ranked third highest at 44.7 percent for youth that admitted to consuming alcohol within 30 days of that year's survey. In 2012, the county remains in third place, but the number dropped to 33.4 percent.

"A child who drinks at 15 years or younger has a 40 percent chance of becoming an alcoholic," said Ford. "If that child waits until he is 21, that chance is only 7 percent. That's an amazing statistic that says young people need to wait. We're not saying they can never drink, but we want them to let their brains develop first before they start damaging it. This kind of campaign brings that information out."



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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, June 5, 2014
Article comment by: Another problem

What about all those deathly ill dope card holders that are selling that stuff to kids. How about an investigative report on that currently swept under the rug conversation piece.

Posted: Thursday, June 5, 2014
Article comment by: Tammany McDaniel

We are always thrilled to see statistics for substance abuse and underage drinking decrease in Mohave County. Thank you to the Miner for covering the story and thank you to every individual in the area who secures alcohol in-home and refuses to serve or provide alcohol to local children. If you would like to see the 'It's A Party Foul' campaign artwork, please e-mail me at tammany@azyp.org or call me for more information at 928 692 5889. Tammany, McDaniel, Director of Community Initiatives, Arizona Youth Partnership



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