Data suggests decrease

Grand Futures: Teen alcohol use down in Moffat County

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Students who have ever used alcohol:

2008:

Freshmen: 72 percent

Sophomores: 71 percent

Juniors: 81 percent

Seniors: 78 percent

2010:

Freshmen: 62 percent

Sophomores: 70 percent

Juniors: 72 percent

Seniors: 82 percent

Used in the past 30 days:

2008:

Freshmen: 50 percent

Sophomores: 55 percent

Juniors: 48 percent

Seniors: 59 percent

2010:

Freshmen: 40 percent

Sophomores: 35 percent

Juniors: 40 percent

Seniors 58 percent

Heavy use:

2008:

Freshmen: 22 percent

Sophomores: 32 percent

Juniors: 23 percent

Seniors: 35 percent

2010:

Freshmen: 16 percent

Sophomores: 12 percent

Juniors: 21 percent

Seniors: 32 percent

High-risk behaviors

(Drove after drinking)

2008:

Freshmen: 9 percent

Sophomores: 18 percent

Juniors: 18 percent

Seniors: 21 percent

2010:

Freshmen: 8 percent

Sophomores: 10 percent

Juniors: 15 percent

Seniors: 22 percent

(Rode with a driver who had been drinking)

2008:

Freshmen: 30 percent

Sophomores: 28 percent

Juniors: 27 percent

Seniors: 35 percent

2010:

Freshmen: 22 percent

Sophomores: 22 percent

Juniors: 21 percent

Seniors: 31 percent

Law enforcement data

Craig Police Department

2009:

Juvenile DUIs (ages 9 to 17): 2

Adult DUIs (ages 18 and older): 72

Minors in possession (ages 9 to 17): 21

Minors in possession (ages 18 to 21): 38

2010:

Juvenile DUIs (ages 9 to 17): None

Adult DUIs (ages 18 and older): 70

Minors in possession (ages 9 to 17): 5

Minors in possession (ages 18 to 21): 18

Moffat County Sheriff’s Office

2009:

Juvenile DUIs (ages 9 to 17): None

Adult DUIs (ages 18 or older): 2

Minors in possession (ages 9 to 17): 11

Minors in possession (ages 18 to 21): 29

2010:

Juvenile DUIs (ages 9 to 17): None

Adult DUIs (ages 18 or older): None

Minors in possession (ages 9 to 17): 4

Minors in possession (ages 18 to 21): 1

Youth services — juvenile diversion

2009:

Cases reviewed: 111

Cases eligible: 63

Diversion cases: 44

2010:

Cases reviewed: 75

Cases eligible: 43

Diversion cases: 5

Statistics compiled by the Grand Futures Prevention Coalition in Moffat County

Matt Beckett, Moffat County director of the Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, contends teen alcohol use is down in Craig, and he credits a city ordinance with being partially responsible.

The social host ordinance, approved by the Craig City Council in 2009, made it a crime to provide a place for people younger than 21 to consume alcohol.

“When we see a reduction in (minors in possession of alcohol), hopefully that’s the cause,” Beckett said of the ordinance.

He cited 2010 results of the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey and law enforcement data.

That data, when compared against results from a 2008 survey and 2009 law enforcement data, indicates reductions in almost all areas.

In 2010, the Craig Police Department and Moffat County Sheriff’s Office charged 71 fewer minors for possession of alcohol than in 2009.

Beckett said the social ordinance was controversial when it was created in 2009.

“We had quite a bit of community support, but there were also people who were really against it,” he said. “A lot of it had to do with giving police officers too much power over personal privacy.”

The ordinance passed, 4-3, in an October 2009 city council meeting.

Beckett said he believes the ordinance and community support for youth are responsible for the reduced alcohol use.

“There are a lot of things that deserve credit for this, not just the host ordinance,” he said. “There are a lot of efforts that are taking place within the community.”

Beckett said youth groups like Bear River Young Life and the Youth Leadership Team are also helping numbers to decrease.

“I think when you put all of those little pieces together and you increase enforcement, we’re bound to see good results,” he said.

Data from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey reinforces local law enforcement statistics.

The survey, which was handed out in Moffat County High School and Craig Middle School, asked students if they’ve consumed alcohol in their lifetimes, in the last 30 days, or in heavy amounts.

In nearly all cases, the percentages of students who responded “yes,” declined from 2008 across all grade levels.

The prevention coalition receives its funding through state grants. The organization’s work includes raising awareness, funding ID compliance checks at liquor stores, funding DUI checkpoints, and more.

Beckett said that although teen drinking is down, Moffat County statistics are still higher than the state average.

“We’re notably higher than the state average in alcohol use,” he said.

To volunteer for the Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, call Beckett at 824-5752.

Ben McCanna can be reached at 875-1793 or bmccanna@craigdailypress.com.

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