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Sticker Shock campaign begins in Ticonderoga

TICONDEROGA Its a crime to provide alcohol to a minor. That message was delivered by law enforcement officials at the Ticonderoga town board meeting June 12 and will be reiterated by local teen-agers today as they take part in the Sticker Shock campaign. Providing alcohol to a person younger than age 21 is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail, a $1,000 fine and three years probation. The process of investigating under-age drinking, arrest, court and penalty were outlined by Officer Randy Bevins of the Ticonderoga Police Department, Mike Langey of the Essex County District Attorneys office and Jim OBryan, Ti justice. Under-age drinking has harmful affects, Bevins said. A person who begins drinking at age 15 is five times more likely to have alcohol problems in their life. Langey, pointing to a pair of alcohol-related accidents in the past year that have claimed the lives of six young people, said the DAs office will prosecute those providing alcohol to minors. A lot of parents want to hold parties for their kids when they graduate from high school, he said. If it involves alcohol, thats a crime in New York State. This is a crime just as if you stole from someone or assaulted somebody. Langey noted each child with alcohol constitutes a separate violation if there are 15 teens with alcohol there will be 15 charges. He also pointed out civil liability, noting the families of most alcohol-related accidents sue those who provided the drinks. Whether to give it away, sell it or just allow alcohol use, its all a crime, Langey said. OBryan said courts will be tough with those guilty of providing alcohol to teens. Ive seen an escalation of the problem throughout the area, OBryan said. Its a grave concern to all of us. Were losing kids. We cant allow that. To drive the message home, Ticonderoga teens will be in local stores today placing stickers on packages of alcoholic beverages. The brightly-colored stickers remind those picking up the packages that it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors. The Sticker Shock campaign is sponsored by the Connecting Youth to Communities program. CYC is doing a great job promoting awareness in the community, Bevins said. Ticonderoga Supervisor Bob Dedrick thanked Bevins, Langey and OBryan for bringing the issue of under-age drinking to the communitys attention. He also praised the CYC effort. Its a tremendous program for our community, he said of CYC.

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