A multi-pronged approach to crack down on drinking by minors has been suggested by a special committee of the legislature. The joint legislative committee wants a law letting charges be filed against someone who is underage and drunk. The law now only allows a person to be charged if they possess alcohol. The committee says minors should lose their driver’s licenses if they’re caught in possession of alcohol, whether they’re in a car or not. Committee Chairman Mike Gibbons (R-Kirkwood) says one special target is parents who allow children to throw parties where alcohol is served. The committee also recommends the law be tougher on those who make fake ID cards young people use to get alcohol and that school districts be required to have policies outlining the consequences students will face at school if they are caught drinking; on or off school property. The consequences could include bans from extracurricular activities. The committee says there are plenty of other issues that need more study, including the use of underage people by police to catch merchants who will sell alcohol to minors. Gibbons says that’s something for another committee to study, as is a suggested increase in beer and liquor taxes for the first time in 35 years.
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