Teens And Alcohol

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Too many teenagers are able to illegally purchase alcohol, Mothers Against Drunk Driving says in a report marking the 21st anniversary of the raising the drinking age to 21.

MADD, in cooperation with law enforcement, sent teenagers into bars and liquor stores across the nation over the weekend for compliance checks, and nearly one in five was able to buy alcohol without providing identification.

Glynn Birch, MADD's national president, said today -- quote -- "They look very young, there's no way any of them should have gotten that far. Our youths are dying too early because of alcohol. It's everyone's responsibility."

The compliance rate across 21 cities was 82 percent. Birch acknowledged the survey was not scientific -- in some cities less
than two-dozen establishments were checked. But the results should
nonetheless raise awareness, he said.

There were 124 compliance checks in Boston, where 13 violations were reported, for a compliance rate of 90 percent.

Gwinnett County near Atlanta, the only other area that had more than 100 checks, had a 74 percent compliance rate.

Seattle had the worst compliance rate at 57 percent, although just 21 establishments were checked. Honolulu had 100 percent compliance, in just 24 checks, according to MADD's report.

The report said other areas checked included: Atlanta (88 percent compliance), Dallas (85 percent), Denver (81 percent), Jacksonville, Florida, (91 percent), Nashville, Tennessee, (76 percent), and Sacramento, California, (90 percent).

The organization is scheduled to release the report at a news conference in Boston tomorrow.

On the Net: Mothers Against Drunk Driving: http://www.madd.org/home/