Tallahassee, Florida -September 19, 2012
Binge and underage drinking are growing problems in Florida and across the county.
A U.S. Center for Disease Control report shows people under 21 drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the U.S. Now through a grant proposal, the City of Tallahassee is fighting back.
"If you're 20-year-old and and you go out and you drink too much, your opportunity for high risk behavior significantly increases whether that be unprotected sex, drinking and driving or a fight that breaks out in a parking lot," says Greg Frost with the Tallahassee Police Department.
The City approved a $7,380 grant from the 'Responsible Decision Making Coalition' at the city commissioners meeting Wednesday, September 19. RDMC is a local group aimed at 'encouraging school age and college age students to make safe, healthy and responsible decisions, particularly related to alcohol and other drug use.'
The grant helps fund overtime for Tallahassee Police Officers. The proposal says officers will conduct alcohol enforcement operations over the course of nine weeks at locations known for binge drinking, such as house parties and bars.
"Drinking kind of goes hand-in-hand with Tallahassee's atmosphere, it's kind of on the forefront, so it's a big thing," says Caleb Bullock, a student a Florida State.
Bullock transferred to Florida State this fall. While the sophomore has only been on campus for a few weeks, he believes the crackdown will help.
"With more cops comes more safety, especially in a big college town," says Bullock.
Under Florida law, those caught drinking underage could face up to 60 days in jail or a $500 fine.