Organization pushes for new laws to combat youth alcohol abuse

(Jackson, Wyo.) - On Monday evening at the Town of Jackson Council meeting, the Teton County Substance Abuse and Tobacco Prevention Coalition (TCSATP Coalition), which was formed in February 2015, approached the council with recommendations to address alcohol and tobacco abuse in Teton County. These recommendations were made after the organization conducted a Substance Abuse Needs Assessment and found youth alcohol abuse to be a significant problem. In fact, the data found that 33 percent of 12 graders reported binge drinking in the past two weeks and 88 percent of local arrests are alcohol related. According to town documents, the organization recommends the following changes: 1. An ordinance for Responsible Beverage Server training for all local alcohol serving/selling employees in an effort to prevent over‐serving intoxicated patrons or serving to underage persons. Free trainings would be offered regularly by the Jackson Police Dept. Online options would also be available. 2. An ordinance for signs placed in local retail liquor stores to remind patrons of laws and liabilities regarding providing alcohol to underage persons, hosting underage drinking parties and driving under the influence. 3. An ordinance for a fine of up to $750 for a business that sells alcohol to an underage person (In addition to the individuals selling to the underage person). 4. An ordinance for the review of a liquor license for a business that has three or more infractions of selling alcohol to an underage person in a 12 month period. 5. An ordinance for clean air in town parks and on town pathways that addresses both smoke and vapors. “Clean Air Zone: Parks and Pathways” would make it a violation to smoke or use vapor emitting devices in our town parks and pathways within town limits. "In an environment of budget cuts for important social services, structural interventions (law and code changes) offer cost effective methods to mitigate serious community health and safety issues surrounding substance abuse," said the Coalition in town documents. "The TCSATP Coalition believes strongly that adopting these policy interventions can be part of a significant prevention strategy along with other non‐policy strategies to address Teton County’s significant challenges with alcohol." Read the full recommendation by the TCSATP Coalition here. *Feature Photo: h/t /