Scottsdale PD partners with local groups, SUSD to curb underage drinking

An officer using a breathalyzer. (photo by Scottsdale Police Department)

An officer using a breathalyzer. (photo by Scottsdale Police Department)

This weekend the Scottsdale Police Department, Paradise Valley Police Department, Scottsdale Neighborhoods in Action Coalition and the Scottsdale Unified School District will launch a “We’re Coming to the Party” information and education campaign.

The goal of the campaign is to educate teens, parents and area hotels of the risks posed by unsupervised prom parties through flyers, social media and direct contact.

In 2015, the Scottsdale Police Department and the Scottsdale Prevention Institute, in conjunction with the Scottsdale Neighborhoods in Action Coalition conducted a Community Needs Assessment in the city of Scottsdale and Township of Paradise Valley. The results of that assessment revealed important information about events and environments that subjected youth to a higher risk of exposure to alcohol and drug use, according to a press release.

Many high school aged youth from these communities were placed in focus groups and surveyed.  What was learned from these youth groups was that the high school prom season presented a significantly higher risk to youth exposure to drugs and alcohol. Additionally, it was revealed that hotel rooms were commonly rented for the purpose of hosting under-age parties, unsupervised by adults.

These facts were supported by data collected by the Scottsdale Prevention Institute, who provides post arrest intervention and counseling for youth arrested for alcohol or drug use.  In the prom season of 2015, the number of youth arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol increased by 20 percent, the release stated. The number of youth arrested for underage consumption of alcohol increased by 47 percent.

“It is our hope that by working together as a community we will reduce the exposure to the high risk environments,” stated Commander Rich Slavin, district commander with the Scottsdale Police Department, in the release.

The Scottsdale Police Department along with the Paradise Valley Police Department, Scottsdale Neighborhoods in Action Coalition and the Scottsdale Unified School District are committed to making the 2016 prom season a safe one. The “We’re Coming to the Party” campaign is the first step in that safe season.

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