“21 To Buy not Supply” campaign aims to curb underage drinking

State officials last week kicked off a new campaign to crackdown on underage drinking.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, Michigan State Police Inspector James Wolf and others launched their “21 to Buy, Not Supply” campaign on the campus of Wayne State University. The campaign is targeted to students at the University of Detroit Mercy and across the state who have already turned 21 but still have peers under the legal drinking age.

The officials discussed how peer pressured teens are not educated with the consequences they face when suppling for their friends.

In 2012, 442,000 public disorder crimes and 23,100 nonfatal violent crimes including rape, robbery and assault were attributable to underage drinking in Michigan, according to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

“Young adults do not realize the legal ramifications of providing alcohol to minors,” Johnson said. “We are going to ask young people to think long and hard before they make these choices.”

 Penalties for supplying to minors include up to 90 days in jail and $1,000 in fines, plus thousands of dollars worth of legal fees, and the potential loss of scholarships and jobs.

Unfortunately, many millennials are not aware of the ramifications and are often pressured into suppling for their friends who are not able to buy legally, officials said. Something that is often overlooked in the decision process to purchase alcohol to underage friends is that even after you hand over the alcohol, you are still linked to whatever happens as a result of drinking it, they said. 

 “Our hope is that this campaign will lead to wise decision-making resulting in less occurrences of underage drinking, drunk driving and other alcohol related deaths,” Wolf said.  “In Michigan, if a person underage is killed in an alcohol related accident, the alcohol provider can be found guilty of a felony and face up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The Michigan State Police urges legal buyers of alcohol to make safe and informed decisions that protect your future and others lives.”