We believe enforcement of underage drinking laws is an important part of our underage drinking prevention plan. Law enforcement resources are limited and adding a few extra officers at times when underage drinking is likely can keep the department from being undermanned. Additional resources also allow for a more immediate response to complaints and concerns related to underage drinking. In addition to reports of youth accessing alcohol on private property, we continue to hear reports of youth purchasing alcohol from alcohol retailers. Walkthroughs give law enforcement the opportunity to visit bars and taverns to deter youth from attempting to purchasing alcohol and to remind alcohol servers of their legal and ethical responsibility to keep alcohol out of the hands of those who are under 21. Over the summer, the Sheriff’s Department visited all 9 bars and taverns in their jurisdiction at least twice. The Nashua and New Hampton Police also conduct walkthroughs on a regular basis.
The hope is for heightened enforcement efforts to initially, increase those who report underage drinking situations, and in the long run, decrease underage drinking rates and related problems. Less underage drinking parties will, in turn, lead to less sexual assaults, injuries, crashes, and ultimately lead to less issues with over consumption, addiction, and mental health, all problems law enforcement responds to regularly.
Starting this month, area law enforcement will continue these increased enforcement efforts at times when underage drinking has been reported including school breaks, prom, graduation, and community events.
These enforcement activities are one of five underage drinking strategies we are implementing through the IPFS Grant. This project is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information on the IPFS Grant, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/substance-abuse/programs/ipfs. For information on Chickasaw County’s project and how to get involved, visit www.chickasawconnections.org or contact Carol Hopp at firstname.lastname@example.org. To report concerns and incidents of underage drinking, please contact your local law enforcement office:
● Chickasaw County Sheriff: (641) 394-3121
● Nashua Police: (641) 435-2068
● New Hampton Police: (641) 394-3241