The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Editorials

December 19, 2012

It stings

It is a disappointment to realize how easy it is for minors to purchase alcohol in our area.

Last Friday, 10 clerks were charged with selling alcohol to a person under 21. The 10 stores are facing sanctions from the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration.

An undercover sting in Raleigh County was conducted by Beckley Police, Raleigh County Sheriff’s deputies and representatives from the ABCA at 41 locations.

So, about one in four is putting the public in danger by providing alcohol to minors.

For every three times a minor was turned away, one clerk was willing to package up that beer or liquor, take the money and send a minor off onto our highways with a drink. Or a six pack.

In the sting, underage buyers attempted to purchase alcohol from store clerks and if asked to show their IDs, the underage buyers presented their own, indicating they were not of legal age.

There was no trickery involved.

So there is really no excuse for this appalling find.

Minors who are purchasing alcohol from a retailer are very likely driving around while drinking.

That thought alone should cause everyone to pause and consider the consequences.

Drunk drivers kill about 32 people on average each day in the United States.

The number spikes around holidays, of course.

Making Friday’s findings that much more disturbing.

According to a recent national survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, driving under the influence of alcohol was associated with age in 2010. The rate was highest among persons aged 21 to 25 (23.4 percent). But an estimated 5.8 percent of 16 or 17 year olds and 15.1 percent of 18 to 20 year olds reported driving under the influence of alcohol in the past year. Beyond age 25, the rates showed a general decline with increasing age.

A large number of minors are drinking.

In 2010, about 10 million persons aged 12 to 20 (26.3 percent of this age group) reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Approximately 6.5 million (17.0 percent) were binge drinkers, and 2.0 million (5.1 percent) were heavy drinkers.

We cannot enable their behavior by not taking this situation seriously.

Our hope is that this latest sting will provide a stricter adherence to the law.

And that underage consumption of alcohol will not be as easy as reaching for a cola at your local convenience store.

Because, for now, it is that simple.

Sadly.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Missing from the show

    If they attended, lawmakers would see strides made by TWV

    July 31, 2014

  • VA breakthrough

    Compromise shows Congress can put partisanship aside for the proper cause

    July 30, 2014

  • Doughnut holes

    Annexation benefits outweigh the taxes

    July 29, 2014

  • The play’s the thing

    TWV twins reveal local riches that can’t be found anywhere else

    July 27, 2014

  • Primary care

    DHHR program weans folks away from the ER

    July 24, 2014

  • Rain? What Rain?

    Community still enjoys auto fair despite uncooperative weather

    July 23, 2014

  • Do tell

    It’s hard to keep a secret in today’s here-a-camera, there-a-camera, everywhere-a-camera world. Whatever one does that is embarrassing is immediately posted on YouTube, Facebook or other social media of choice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Juvenile justice

    West Virginia nearly doubled the rate it sent youths to juvenile facilities from 1997 to 2011, in contrast to declining rates of youthful incarceration elsewhere in the United States.

    July 20, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, July 19, 2014

    July 19, 2014

  • Do something

     Johnstown police have charged three men in the brutal murder early Sunday of a city academy student.

    July 18, 2014