MCALESTER, OK -- From fake ID's to breaking up parties,underage drinking is a problem that law enforcement faces regularly.
The Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission, also known as the ABLE Commission, is teaming up with law enforcement to give them training as part of the 2 Much 2 Lose Stop Underage Drinking Program, to keep alcohol out of kids hands.
"Alcohol is still a precursor drug," said ABLE Commission Senior Agent, Erik Smoot. "It's still the number one thing that kids are doing most. It's still our biggest problem and still continues to rise and it's not getting any lower," Smoot said.
Smoot is leading the two day training course in McAlester that will help officers become more familiar with the alcohol laws, identify fake ID's, as well as conduct underage buys, and dispersals for underage drinking parties. Law enforcement deals with many issues on a daily basis, and Smoot says this training is a great refresher course.
"It's really all about giving law enforcement the skills they need to understand underage drinking, and do a better job on working on making sure that it doesn't happen," said Smoot.
Muskogee police officer, Ronald Mayes, has gone through the ABLE Commission training before, and says it has helped him greatly in his community.
"With this resource we have now, it helps them out to where they can monitor more and help prevent a lot of accidents and deaths with alcohol related incidents," Mayes said.
Smoot says that it's important for officers to take the time to make sure they know how to properly handle underage drinking.
"Minors are our biggest resource and we want to keep these kids safe," Smoot said. "We want the information we want these officers to know that when they respond to these calls that they're important and that minor safety is so critical. We don't want any more youth to die," said Smoot.
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