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A Valid Strategy

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Steps need to be taken in Utah to curb the blatant and dangerous abuse of alcohol by thousands of the state’s teens.

From a survey by Insight Research, commissioned by the Utah Alcohol Policy Coalition, come these findings: 41 percent of youths between 12 and 18 have consumed alcohol. A third of all Utah teens drink regularly.

Of course, that’s alarming!

But another figure is absolutely frightening: 41 percent of underage drinkers say they have driven a car while under the influence of alcohol. Furthermore, one teenager in five – think of that – one in five, in the last month was a passenger in a car driven by someone who was drunk.

If they’re doing that as kids, what will their driving and drinking behavior be as adults, when alcohol consumption for many will be habitual? Indeed, how many lives, especially of innocent bystanders, will end prematurely because of those who mix drinking with driving?

The Utah Alcohol Policy Commission is recommending a five-step strategy to attack the problem: Seek parental and public help! Increase alcohol excise taxes! Decrease availability! Improve enforcement and penalties! Decrease youth directed alcohol advertising!

KSL believes the strategy is valid and deserves broad public support. The consequences of less aggressive action cannot be tolerated.

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