Hood takes to airwaves to tell adults to stop giving minors alcohol

Published 11:44 am Tuesday, September 11, 2007

JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood will be in advertisements this week in association with a national campaign aimed at getting adults to stop giving alcohol to teens.

“We Don’t Serve Teens” week is a first-year campaign sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission and The Century Council, a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible drinking.

Several million dollars in advertisements for national and local radio, national periodicals and on billboards is being used in the campaign.

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“We asked minors 13 to 20 how they obtained alcohol, and what we’ve found is that 65 percent of them said it was either a parent, an older sibling or a neighbor,” said Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of The Century Council, which is based in Washington, D.C.

In the commercials, Hood will remind people that providing teens with alcohol is unsafe, irresponsible and illegal. He urges parents to talk with teens about the dangers of underage drinking.

“Turning a blind eye is just as irresponsible as putting a drink in their hands,” Hood says in the spot.

Some parents believe it is OK to allow their child to drink as long as they are in a controlled environment, Blackman said.

“Alcohol affects teens differently than it does adults,” Blackman said. “Science suggests that teens are not fully developed, and that includes their decision-making abilities, their ability to control emotions and their physical development. Adding alcohol could be disastrous.”

Selling or giving alcohol to minors is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and up to one year in jail.