Red Ribbon Week to raise awareness

To heighten awareness of the legal and social consequences of underage drinking and drug use, the Travis County Underage Drinking Prevention Program (UDPP), serving Travis, Hays and Williamson counties, is focusing its prevention efforts to promote a safe and sober fall.

Youth and their families are enjoying football games and tailgate events, Fall Fests and Halloween. The UDPP wants to remind these tri-county communities to think before they drink, and be aware of the legal and social consequences of underage drinking, providing alcohol to minors, and DWI. In 2018, there were 262 DUI-alcohol reportable motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers of all ages in Hays County (TxDOT).

Oct. 28- 31 is designated as Red Ribbon Week in schools across the country. Red Ribbon Week honors Drug Enforcement Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was kidnapped and killed in 1985. 

Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among teens, and is more likely to kill young people than all other illegal drugs combined (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence). Parents play the largest role in influencing underage alcohol use, experts say. “Adults need to rid themselves of the ‘not my kid’ mentality and talk openly with teens about the dangers of drinking and riding with friends or anyone else who has been drinking,” said Gloria Souhami, director of the Travis County Attorney’s Underage Drinking Prevention Program (UDPP). 

The UDPP offers resources and free presentations for area school districts, private schools and other youth groups. It receives federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through a grant administered by the Texas Department of Transportation. For more information or to schedule a presentation, please call 854-4229 or email Gloria.souhami@traviscountytx.gov.

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