DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCES $17 MILLION IN AWARDS TO ENFORCE UNDERAGE DRINKING LAWS
WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced block awards of more than $17 million to 50 states and the District of Columbia to enforce state and local underage drinking laws. The awards are made through the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) program, which supports activities in law enforcement, public education programs, and innovative methods for reaching youth.
"The dangers of underage drinking affect every segment of our society," said Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. "These awards support law enforcement agencies' efforts to more aggressively implement underage drinking laws and help create partnerships with parents, youth, schools and communities to monitor adolescent activities."
Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws is the only federal initiative directed exclusively toward preventing underage drinking. The program is a $25 million initiative consisting of block grants to each state and the District of Columbia, and discretionary awards to selected states to fund the best and most promising activities and research at the local level. Each state and the District of Columbia received at least $350,000 in the form of block grants.
The awards support a wide range of activities including a strong emphasis on compliance checks of retail alcohol outlets to reduce sales to minors, crackdowns on false identification, programs to reduce older youth or adults from providing alcohol to minors, "party patrols" to prevent access to alcohol at large youth gatherings, and "cops in shops" to deter minors' attempts to purchase alcohol.
OJP's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), through the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center, is hosting its ninth annual national leadership conference in Orlando, Fla., Aug. 2-4, 2007. OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores is representing OJP at this year's conference, which will host more than 1,500 law enforcement, community members, youth advocates and prevention advocates, and focus on evidence-based strategies to reduce youth access to alcohol.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Regina B. Schofield, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) Office. More information can be found at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov.