The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Teens, Alcohol & Drugs

April 19, 2010

Underage drinking costs high for county

Outlets in county fail compliance checks at higher rate

(Continued)

ANDERSON, Ind. — Students see low risk

Locally, the towns of Lapel and Pendleton have expressed interest in the ordinance, and Cook said other communities in Indiana have passed similar legislation sponsored by the Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking.

According to the HTFMC report, 60 percent of respondents reported using alcohol within the previous year. The same percentage of students think there is little to no risk in having one or two drinks on occasion, while 65 percent of students think there is significant risk in binge drinking weekly.

Madison County Juvenile Court Judge George Pancol said reasons vary for youths who use alcohol. Pancol deals with juveniles who face underage drinking charges, which often are coupled with other charges, he said.

“There’s usually more  than just alcohol,” Pancol said. “A lot of them that come in, they’re testing positive for marijuana. It’s just kind of a combination of things.

“A lot of it is to just escape some of the realities. We have some teenagers in some pretty tough situations. If your friends are all drinking and you’re not, it kind of tends to make you the outcast. Every year that goes by, it just seems like it’s more accepted. They just all kind of buy into it.”

Anderson Police Department public information officer Mitch Carroll provided The Herald Bulletin with APD statistics that show 123 alcohol-related juvenile arrests and 894 alcohol-related adult arrests in 2009.

Illegal possession, consumption or transportation by a person under 21 is a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a prison term of up to 60 days and a fine of up $500. Public intoxication is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a prison term of up to one year and a fine of up to $5,000.

Often, however, Pancol said he treats underage drinking cases in other ways.

“If a child comes in under a delinquency petition, probably the least restrictive is to put them on probation,” Pancol said. “We check to see if they’re going to school. We try to keep up on not only alcohol but all their behavior.”

More serious substance-abuse problems will result in juveniles being placed in treatment programs, either in-patient or outpatient, Pancol said.

“Getting a handle on that early as a teenager is very important,” he said. “Teenage drinking leads to alcoholism later in life.

“Unfortunately we do see a lot of repeat offenders, and we keep stepping up the sanctions.”

Text Only
Teens, Alcohol & Drugs
  • news_drug_series_schools.jpg Hundreds face drug discipline

    Drug, alcohol and tobacco use among area public school students has led to hundreds of suspensions and expulsions in recent years.

    April 22, 2010 2 Photos

  • 0328_news_drugs.jpg Teens casual about pill use

    An Anderson high school student takes four hydrocodones. She tries to walk, but her steps are unsteady. She skips classes just to stay seated and wait out the high.

    April 21, 2010 4 Photos

  • news_tobacco_.jpg More local teens lighting up

    The average Madison County teen tries his or her first cigarette at 13. For one Madison County teen, the habit started earlier.

    April 20, 2010 5 Photos

  • news_drugs_alcohol_tobacco_beer.jpg Underage drinking costs high for county

    For one Madison County teen, drinking alcohol seemed like a natural habit while growing up with an alcoholic mother who drinks every day.

    April 19, 2010 5 Photos

  • news_drugs_alcohol_tobacco_day1.jpg Addiction happens early

    Addiction happens early. Researchers have long known that people who use alcohol and tobacco at a young age are more likely to carry those habits into adulthood. 

    April 18, 2010 6 Photos

Galleries
Photographers’ pick
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin