By Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County
The Anderson County Underage Drinking Task Force is completing its first year of existence, one which proved to be quite productive.
The Task Force kicked off last September when it assembled key stakeholders from beer boards, law enforcement agencies, government officials, and businesses across different jurisdictions in Anderson County to identify barriers to compliance with underage drinking laws, with a focus on developing local solutions. Over the last year, the Task Force has worked to review alcohol policies of all jurisdictions in Anderson County.
As part of the review process, the Task Force identified a need for consistency throughout the county on alcohol regulations. Through collaborative dialogue, members discovered that many business owners have locations in two or even three different municipalities, each regulated by different rules.
After the review process, the Task Force embarked on a project to standardize policies across jurisdictions. Members focused on policies that would help businesses remain compliant with underage drinking laws with a goal of reducing underage drinking in Anderson County. The Task Force focused on a standard penalty structure for selling to an underage person and a responsible alcohol sales training ordinance, requiring all employees of beer permit holders to attend annual responsible alcohol sales training.
The policy changes initiated by the Task Force have made a difference in underage drinking rates in the county in short order. As measured by a student survey (2012 and 2014 6th-12th Grade Risk and Protective Factor Survey), there has been a 10 percent decrease in past 30-day use of alcohol since the Responsible Alcohol Sales training ordinance was passed.
Additionally, in jurisdictions where the ordinance has already passed (Anderson County, Oliver Springs), there has been a 6 percent increase in compliance with underage drinking laws and 100 percent compliance among employees trained through the responsible alcohol sales training offered by Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County.
ASAP would like to commend the community leaders who have dedicated their time to create a safe community. A special thanks is extended to Vice-Chairmen Steven Phillips, Anderson County Beer Board; Commissioner Tim Isbel, Anderson County Beer Board Chair; Special Agent Derrick Dalton, Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission; Chief Ken Morgan, Oliver Springs Police Department; Assistant Chief Vaughn Becker, Clinton Police Department; District Attorney General Dave Clark, Seventh Judicial District; Assistant District Attorney Melissa Denny, Seventh Judicial District; Councilman Shane Vowell, Rocky Top; Chief James Shetterly, Rocky Top Police Department; Alderman Terry Craze, Oliver Springs; Councilman E.T. Stamey, Clinton; Kim Guinn, Anderson County Beer Board; Kim Pouncey, TopshelfRBS; Mayor Scott Burton, Clinton; Captain Mike Uher, Oak Ridge Police Department; Mayor Terry Frank, Anderson County; Commissioner Theresa Scott, Oak Ridge Beer Board; Wendy Williams, Oak Ridge Beer Board; R.C. Burton, Anderson County Beer Board; Commissioner Steve Emert, Anderson County Beer Board; Deputy David Masengill, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office; Sergeant Jim Leinart, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office; Councilman York Haverkamp, Norris; and Catherine Brunson, Facilitator.
For more information on the Anderson County Underage Drinking Task Force, please contact Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention at (865) 457-3007 or [email protected].