Alcohol awareness month Uptown: stay safe and win $25 - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Alcohol awareness month Uptown: stay safe and win $25

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Research shows that alcohol abuse is still a prevalent issue among our nation's youth, and young people in Georgia and Alabama are no different.

A recent study determined that 23% of high school students in Georgia admit to drinking alcohol regularly and in Alabama, that number is 36%.

"Those are the college-aged or going-into-college-aged and unfortunately, a lot of the students think it's okay to drink or I just passed my test and it's okay for me to drink," said community involvement specialist, Veronica Dowell.

Experts say the problem doesn't end with underage drinking.  Poor decision making related to drinking can be common among young adults as well.

"Even with 21 being the legal drinking age, a lot of them don't know when to stop.  A lot of them are just thinking, ‘I haven't had enough.'  Or even when they are about to get into their car and are thinking they haven't had enough, they have no clue what enough is," said Dowell.

A partnership between Uptown Columbus and local distributor B & B beverage is trying to come up with solutions to that very problem.

On Friday and Saturday nights, Uptown bar patrons can pick up a cab at a stand near 11th Street and Broadway and have their name entered into a 25 dollar gift card drawing that occurs every Monday.

"The gift card can be used anywhere in Uptown.  It could be to one of our restaurants, one of our bars, to our running store, it could be to anywhere in Uptown Columbus.  We want people to come to uptown and have a great time, get home safely, and then come back to Uptown again," said Elizabeth Hurst of Uptown Columbus.

B&B beverage supplies most of the bars in Uptown with their alcohol and they are providing the funding for the gift cards.

"A lot of people are already taking cabs home, so this is another reason for them to get involved and not drive," said Lisa Deason of B&B Beverage.

"I support it and I'll probably use it pretty soon here," said Nicholas Kane of Phenix City.

Kane said his cab rides generally cost $8 to $10, so winning a gift card would make up for 2 or 3 trips, "If I'm going to get some bonus out of it, sign me up."

Broadway is usually closed to traffic on Friday and Saturday nights, but it will be open to cabs as part of this program.  Only trips leaving from the cab stand at 11th Street and Broadway will be eligible for the gift card drawing.  Riders will give their name and contact information to an Uptown Columbus representative stationed at that corner.

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