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Grant to Reduce Underage Drinking Awarded to SCOE

Funding Will Support Student-Led Prevention and Outreach Campaigns

California Office of Traffic Safety logotype

Grant funding comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) is the recipient of a grant award to support the implementation of underage drinking prevention projects. The money will fund Friday Night Live (FNL) youth leaders to address this important public safety issue at the local level.

The funds are provided through the California Friday Night Live Partnership (CFNLP), with a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) which is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The CFNLP is fortunate to provide these funds to 34 sites in 25 counties throughout the state. FNL youth will partner with local law enforcement, parents and community members to implement two significant campaigns geared toward both youth and parent/guardian populations.

“We know underage drinking is a very serious problem that impacts so many people, not only our youth. It impacts families, school communities, and society as a whole,” said David W. Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools. “I greatly admire these young people who are making a difference in their local communities.”

According to a report on underage drinking by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that, on average, alcohol is a factor in the deaths of 4,358 young people under age 21 each year. Studies also show that young people who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times as likely to develop alcoholism later in their life. Another CDC study reveals that, in 2010 the estimated national economic cost of excessive underage drinking was $24 billion.

As a prerequisite to obtain the funds, Sacramento County FNL members participated in Roadwatch—an annual observational survey administered by the CFNLP. For one hour on October 11, 2016, youth participants observed 346 incidents of distracted driving near the intersection of Natomas Boulevard and Del Paso Road (near Inderkum High School). The distractions ranged from talking on the phone or texting, to eating, drinking, and personal grooming. Sacramento County FNL was one of over 115 sites throughout the state that observed a total of 12,852 distracted driving behaviors on that day.

The Friday Night Live and Club Live programs are designed to build leadership skills, provide opportunities for community service, and prevent alcohol and drug use among teenagers. For more information, contact Joelle Orrock, Coordinator at (916) 228-2418.