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Drug Free Communities, chamber partner

Drug Free Communities of Dallas County and the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce are partnering to curb underage drinking in our community.

Underage drinking is a problem nationwide and Selma is not immune to it. The statistics on underage drinking are scary and they show a major problem. According to Students Against Destructive Decisions, 26.4 percent of underage persons ages 12-20 used alcohol in the last 30 days. Most of that group — 17.4 percent — binge drank in that same timeframe.

SADD reports that nearly three quarters of students have consumed alcohol by the time they graduate high school.

We appreciate the effort DFC and the chamber are taking to try to end this problem in our community. Students need to understand the dangers of drinking. The Center for Disease Control says that excessive drinking is responsible for 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year and hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits each year are linked to underage drinking.

DFC and the chamber are working to put window clings in area business, letting everyone know that they ask for identification before selling alcoholic products.

That’s a great start.

Jerria Martin, director of DFC, said this is just the first part of a bigger initiative to stop underage drinking in Selma and Dallas County. Later on she plans to incporporate compliance checks from the police department into the initiative.

Anything that gets alcohol out of the hands of minors — where it doesn’t belong — sounds like progress to us.