Working with resources provided by a Louisiana Highway Traffic Safety grant for Juvenile Underage Drinking Enforcement, the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office focused on underage drinking at the recently concluded Washington Parish Fair.
During the evening of October 19, the first day of the fair, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies identified seventeen underage persons who were consuming alcohol. Each person was issued a citation. Two evenings later, on October 21, deputies once again made an effort to identify underage drinkers. None were identified that evening and no citations were issued.
Underage drinking is covered in Louisiana Revised Statute 14:93.12 which states, “It is unlawful for any person under twenty-one years of age to purchase or have public possession of any alcoholic beverage…Any person apprehended while violating the provisions of this Section shall be issued a citation by the apprehending law enforcement officer, which shall be paid in the same manner as provided for he offenders of local traffic violations.” The fine for violators of the statute “shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars.”
All issued citations have been forwarded to the Office of District Attorney for disposition.
Sheriff Randy Seal stated, “Underage drinking can produce very negative consequences, including car accidents, inappropriate behavior and alcohol poisoning. I am pleased our office was able to utilize the resources of the grant to identify underage drinkers at the fair. Obviously, word of our activity was spread after the first night of enforcement since no other underage drinkers were spotted during the second night. That is good.”