Police officers statewide cited 72 minors for a variety of underage drinking violations during a weeklong enforcement blitz operated during Delaware high schools’ spring break period.  The enforcement, conducted by officers from 18 different police agencies, kicked off the State’s underage drinking prevention campaign coordinated by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety.


     Police officers statewide cited 72 minors for a variety of underage drinking violations during a weeklong enforcement blitz operated during Delaware high schools’ spring break period.  The enforcement, conducted by officers from 18 different police agencies, kicked off the State’s underage drinking prevention campaign coordinated by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety . 
     The 72 underage drinking violations included:  8 for underage consumption of alcohol, 17 for underage possession of alcohol, 14 for possession of a fake ID, 24 for entering a package store underage, 1 for a violation of the state’s Zero Tolerance (or underage DUI law), and 8 other underage drinking violations.
     In addition, officers arrested 7 individuals 21 or older for DUI, apprehended 12 wanted individuals, make 12 drug arrests, 1 felony arrest, issued 84 speed citations and 197 citations for other traffic violations.
    The following are a list of Delaware’s penalties for various alcohol-related offenses involving minors:
·       Underage Impaired Driving – loss of license for 2 months or $200 fine if minor is driving without a license (1st offense).  Penalties for minors with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher may face more severe penalties.
·       Underage Consumption or Possession – loss of license for 1 month or $100 fine if unlicensed
·       Using False Identification – up to $500 fine or 30 days in jail if fine is not paid
·       Entering a Bar or Package Store Underage - $50 fine
·       Providing a Minor with Alcohol – up to $500 and 40 hours of community service
    Phase two of the underage drinking campaign will begin next week when OHS will send materials including posters, brochures, and incentive items with alcohol prevention information and messages on them to schools for teachers and students to distribute.  Students will also notice underage drinking billboards going up near their school buildings.  These efforts are being conducted in conjunction with prom activities.
    Then in late May and June phase three of the campaign will include more enforcement surrounding graduation and beach week activities, as well as radio and internet messaging.  This time though messages are aimed at parents.  The ads, which will be recorded by Governor Markell, will let parents know that providing alcohol to minors is not only illegal but also damaging to a teenager’s development. 
    Agencies which participated in the week long enforcement blitz conducted either DUI saturation patrols, ‘hot spot’ patrols, or Cops In Shops operations.  The agencies include:  Bridgeville Police, Camden Police, Clayton Police, Delaware State Police, Dewey Police, Division of Alcohol, Tobacco Enforcement (DATE), Elsmere Police, Georgetown Police, Harrington Police, Laurel Police, Middletown Police, Milford Police, Millsboro Police, New Castle County Police, Newport Police, Rehoboth Beach Police, Smyrna Police, and Wyoming Police.