MADD’s Youth In Action program is designed to prevent underage drinking by reducing the social and retail availability of alcohol for youth under the age of 21 and by supporting the enforcement of underage drinking laws. Youth In Action partners high school students with law enforcement, educates adults in the community, and targets alcohol sales to minors. By reducing the access of alcohol to those under 21, this program aims to reduce the amount of youth engaging in underage drinking.
Instead of targeting high school students with a message, Youth In Action looks at the whole environment that seems to condone underage drinking. From the store clerk who doesn't check IDs, to the police officer who might pour out the beer and send teens home, to the adults who don't mind buying beer for a kid who slips him an extra $10, YIA teams look for community solutions instead of focusing their attention on their peers. Teams focus on laws and policies that affect people's behavior, because that's the best place to make changes.
Youth in Action programs are based on recommendations to reduce underage drinking from the National Academy of Sciences and include:
Alcohol Purchase Surveys and Compliance Checks: Attempting to purchase alcohol without ID with the permission and supervision of law enforcement. This helps educate the community about potential weaknesses in laws against the sale of alcohol to underage people.
Shoulder-Tap Surveys: Attempting to get adults to buy alcohol for you. Those that answer "yes" receive a card outlining the law and the penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor.
Roll Call Briefings: Talking to law enforcement about why it is so important to enforce the law.
Media Advocacy: Using the media to tell the community about your actions.
For more information, please visit:
Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility
Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking