Dept. of Justice Awards $350,000 Block Grant to Delaware to Enforce Underage Drinking Laws

Wilmington, DE – Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security, through its Office of Highway Safetyhas been awarded a $350,000 block grant from the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Senator Tom Carper announced today. The goal of the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) Program is to support and enhance state efforts, in cooperation with local jurisdictions, to enforce laws prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages, or the consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors. The program provides grant funds to each of the 50 states for the creation of effective and innovative programs to reduce the use of alcohol by youths under age 21. Currently, OJJDP grants fund efforts in Delaware that include enforcement programs such as Cops in Shops, public information and education programs, and prevention/intervention or treatment programs to prevent underage drinking or provide alcohol-free activities for youth. “This money will help keep our children safer and away from the dangers of underage drinking,” said Senator Tom Carper. “I am encouraged that block grant programs continue to provide funding for well-deserving efforts.” “This funding is an important tool in our fight to prevent underage alcohol use as well as underage drinking and driving in Delaware. It will help us continue to implement a variety of enforcement, awareness, treatment and educational programs throughout the state that are aimed at keeping alcohol out of the hands of young people and keeping them safe,” said Tricia Roberts, Director of the Office of Highway Safety. Alcohol remains by far the most frequently reported drug used by Delaware students across all grades surveyed, and is more likely to result in death for a minor than all other illegal drugs combined. Over 300 Delaware minors (ages 15 – 19) were arrested for DUI in 2004, which accounts for 8% of total DUI arrests. Over 1330 minors were cited for underage buying or possession in Delaware in 2004.