States are increasing efforts to combat underage drinking with new laws and strategies, including universal carding, online social networks, hotlines. and laws targeting adult providers, says USA Today. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) says states have passed 129 laws related to underage drinking this year after 166 such laws in 2006. Matthew Gever of NCSL said it’s apparent traditional interventions are not working. “They’re looking for newer prevention programs or laws,” he said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that just under half of high school students are drinkers.
Annual alcohol-related fatalities among drivers ages 16-20 increased by 11.7 percent in 2005. On July 1, Tennessee became the first state to require identification, no matter how old customers appear, for beer purchases anywhere other than at a bar or restaurant. The New Jersey State Police are sending extra troopers to concerts that appeal to young adults. They arrested 115 underage drinkers at two concerts last month. South Carolina raised fines this year for adults who supply minors with alcohol.