Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Justice Department Announces More Than $20 Million in Awards to States to Enforce Underage Drinking Laws

/PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced more than $20 million in awards to enforce state and local underage drinking laws nationwide. The grant awards, made through the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) program, support law enforcement, public education, and coalition building activities to address underage access to and consumption of alcohol.

"Alcohol is a serious and ongoing threat to the safety of our youth, their families and our communities," said Jeff Slowikowski, Acting Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). "OJP's commitment includes providing training programs that build on best practices and strong partnerships to prevent underage drinking."

The EUDL program, administered by OJJDP, is the only federal initiative directed exclusively toward preventing underage drinking. The program consists of block grants and discretionary awards, research, and training and technical assistance.

Each state, territory, and the District of Columbia received a block grant of $356,400. The awards support a wide range of activities and emphasize the responsibility of adults to not provide alcohol to minors. OJJDP also awarded more than $2 million in discretionary grants to Maine, Nevada and Washington to assess both state and local underage drinking issues in the first year of the program and to develop and implement a strategic plan to address problems identified by the assessments. An OJJDP sponsored independent assessment team will support the states. After the initial planning period, the grantees will participate in an OJJDP sponsored evaluation of their activities.

More than 2,000 participants--including youth--are expected to attend OJJDP's 12th annual National EUDL Leadership conference, "Building Community Futures with Blueprints for Success," in Anaheim, Calif. today through Friday, August 20. The conference highlights communities, programs and other initiatives that have successfully implemented evidence-based strategies to reduce youth access to alcohol.

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