Confronting Underage Drinking

Underage pupils are joining the fight against underage drinking in one area community.

Suwannee County High School students Antoine, Tyler, and Jessica say too often their peers are tragically affected by alcohol. That's why they're trying to help end underage drinking.

Antoine Moore, a senior, says, "A couple of students died from drinking and driving, well, hurt really badly. I think it's a huge problem, especially around here where there are a lot of open roads."

Tyler Jordan, a sophomore, adds, "I've seen some of the experiences of what happens to people who drink, like drunk drivers and crashes that they have. Also, I've had family members who have been alcoholics. I've seen what happened to them. I just don't want that to happen to me and I don't want that to happen to anyone else, either."

Seventy six percent of high school students in Suwannee County say they've tasted alcohol. The Youth Advocacy Partnership along with city and county officials hope a partnership with the faith community will help.

Pastor Jeffrey Dove of Mt. Zion AME Church says, "The pastors of the community, the children of God have to stand up in this community to try to make it a better place for everybody. I think that it's happening but it needs to start happening more on a larger scale."

The groups are also pushing for a keg registration ordinance. This would make adults who buy kegs for minors accountable by law.

Jessica McCullers, a sophomore, says, "I hear people talking about how drinking parties go on all of the time, every weekend almost, keg parties."

The sheriff, police chief and county judge back this move.