Fallbrook Youth Working Towards Safer Communities
Underage drinking is a big problem in Fallbrook. With the tragic DUI-related deaths last winter and the guilty plea in the Gibney case for violating the County’s Social Host Ordinance, the Fallbrook community is paying more attention to this issue than ever before. One group of students with the Fallbrook Youth Prevention Group decided to take action and help build a safer community for young people.
On Thursday, March 4th the Fallbrook PTSA partnered with the Fallbrook Youth Prevention Group (FYPG), MADD, the Fallbrook Sheriffs Substation, the Fallbrook Healthcare District and the North Inland Community Prevention Program (NICPP) to host a free educational event for parents at Fallbrook High School. Youth from FYPG spoke about the dangers of underage drinking and Sheriff Lieutenant Brust encouraged parents to sign a pledge agreeing not to allow underage drinking. Prevention Specialist, Celeste Young, and Fallbrook High School Principal, Rod King, also encouraged parents to protect their children and the community by pledging not to serve alcohol to minors in their homes.
The students actively involved in FYPG are hoping to alert the community and parents about the deadly consequences of underage drinking. Malorie Allen, a student in FYPG explained what the group is hoping to accomplish with these meetings: “We don’t want to see anymore of our friends or family members die because of underage drinking.”
There are also financial and legal consequences to anyone serving alcohol to minors. The Social Host Ordinance, effective July, 2003, gives law enforcement the ability to cite, fine and even jail anyone who provides alcohol in their home to underage people. If caught, anyone found facilitating alcohol to minors could face up to a $1000 fine and 6 months in jail.
“A lot of parents don’t even know about this law,” says Jessica Salas, a member of FYPG. “Parents need to know what the social host ordinance is and that it’s illegal to provide alcohol to minors in their home. Just knowing that there are consequences for doing this will make them think twice about allowing it.”
“These students are shining examples in this community,” says Stephanie Ackroyd. Youth Development Specialist with FYPG. “It’s contagious when a group like this chooses to create a healthy way of life for themselves. These students are leading the way for others to follow along.”
The FYPG is partnering again with MADD and NICPP to host a bilingual town hall event on March 25th at 6:30pm at the Fallbrook High School cafeteria as part of SAMHSA’s National Town Hall Meetings. This event will include student skits and an educational panel of law enforcement, medical experts from Fallbrook Hospital, prevention specialists and a victim of a drunk driving crash. There will be an opportunity to ask questions. The panel of guests and speakers will also answer audience questions at the end. The event will be available in both Spanish and English. “Underage drinking is 100% preventable. It shouldn’t be happening in the first place,” Salas said. “The town hall event is a follow up to the parent pledge night. Instead of just focusing on the parents, it’s going to include information for the parents and the youths.”
For more information contact MADD San Diego at (858) 564-0780, Shaun Keating with NICPP at (858) 395-3340 or Stephanie Ackroyd with the Fallbrook Youth Prevention Group at (951) 252-4192
Thursday, March 25th, 2010
Town Hall: 6:30pm-8:00pm
Fallbrook High School Cafeteria
2400 S. Stagecoach Lane
Fallbrook, CA 92028