Originally created 12/13/04

Get to root of underage drinking



Regarding the article "Change to alcohol rule fails" (Dec. 8):

First, laws concerning the control and regulation of alcohol should be taken seriously, but only one side of the problem is being addressed. There are already laws penalizing the store owners, but what are the penalties for the underage people in these crimes? Are these laws being enforced as diligently as the one controlling store owners? Should these ordinances be amended to more effectively tackle this problem? If you prevent a store owner from selling alcohol for a month, does this stop underage people from buying it? Does it make it any harder for them to obtain alcohol? I doubt it.

... The most consistent part of the problem is the underage drinkers. They and their parents are the root of this problem, and should shoulder most of the responsibility. How much more can restaurant and store owners do? Perhaps they could work with law enforcement to prevent the underage drinking in their establishments. In the end, increased penalties and fines are not the answer....

Hats off to Augusta Commissioner Bobby Hankerson for taking a proactive stance, but is he really attacking the issue from all sides and focusing on the root cause? I think I get it. This is all huff for Mr. Hankerson. This is the only aspect of a hot local topic he has any say in. Since the real laws dealing with this issue are handled by state and federal officials, city ordinances are the only means a commissioner has to butt in. It is out of his hands, but like every good politician, he puts his nose where it doesn't belong for personal exposure. Focus on other people's business and ignore real issues....

So, then, the problem remains. These teenagers and their parents need to be held more accountable.

Tony Martin

North Augusta, S.C.