Underage drinking prevention town hall meeting

By Fatima Rahmatullah - email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – An underage drinking prevention town hall meeting was held Wednesday night.  The goal was to keep young adults away from alcohol and be safe.

18 year old Chris Grier is a senior at Columbus High School and has been asked to drink many times.

"It hasn't been a problem for me to say no and the best thing is my friends have been with me and they also say no too," says Grier.

He was one of about 50 people at the Underage Drinking Prevention town hall meeting at the Columbus Public Safety Center.  He says drinking has messed up many lives.

"It can start early and it keeps going, it can ruin the rest of their lives.  It will affect the rest of their lives," says Grier.

Dr. Betty McBride, Director of Guidance Services for Muscogee County Schools, says very young children have access to alcohol.

"It's not just the 21-22 year olds or the adults that's drinking and having these accidents.  We have children some of them as young as 10, 11, 12 years old indulging in alcohol," says McBride.

McBride says locally in 2007, there were 33 fatalities due to underage drinking.  The next 2 years, it was 32 and 19 deaths.  This year, there have been none so far.  Moms and dads getting involved can keep that number down.

"Statistics show that students whose parents are involved in their lives are less likely to participate in underage drinking," says McBride.

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