There is a new hotline to report underage parties and alcohol consumption.
The Newberry County Coalition on Underage Drinking has teamed up with the Newberry Police Department and Newberry County Sheriff’s Office to create the hotline.
A person can call the hotline at 405-7850 or email information to firstname.lastname@example.org without giving their name to report underage drinking and parties.
Once the call is made, law enforcement officers will be notified about it and able to listen to the voice recording. They will then respond to the scene.
“This gives the person a chance to call and remain anonymous and not be ostracized by their friends,” said Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster. “It also gives them the opportunity to do the right thing.”
Newberry Police Captain Kevin Atkins adds the hotline gives people including teens the ability take responsibility for their community and help to make it better.
Foster also says the main feature of the systems it to save the lives of underage drinkers.
The officers say that underage drinking is an issue but they are not only seeing problems with underage drinking and driving but also alcohol poisoning.
“People don’t realize how many teens are abusing alcohol and how much social hosting is happening,” added Atkins.
Foster says many parents are hosting parties with alcohol, which is against the law, and say they want the teens to experience alcohol before going to college.
Atkins adds that city police are stopping drunk drivers as young as 14 and 15 years old.
Foster says the hotline is very inexpensive to have and just required some minor programing on the part of his staff.
Coalition coordinator Tom Perry says it is great for his group to partner with local law enforcement to prevent underage drinking.
In addition to the phone lines, the coalition is also working to do alcohol compliance checks, provide law enforcement with equipment to better check for under age drinking and to educate the community about underage drinking.
Westview Behavioral Health Services sponsors CAST and the Newberry County Coalition on Underage Drinking through its prevention program.