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All 33 school buses in Tooele County will now feature signs that encourage parents to help keep their teens from drinking alcohol. (Photo: Garna Mejia)
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Tooele County Launches Campaign Aimed At Decreasing Underage Drinking

TOOELE, Utah – A new campaign is aiming to curb underage drinking in Tooele County.

All of the school buses in the county – 33 to be exact – are rolling out with new signs that feature slogans like, “Parents, Here’s Your Homework: Set Clear Rules About Underage Drinking.” The aim is to remind parents about the risks involved with binge drinking.

During a Thursday press conference, Tooele Prevention Coordinator Peter Clegg cited findings from the 2019 Utah Student Health and Risk Prevention Survey (SHARP), which found a 2% increase in binge drinking among eighth, 10th, and 12th graders between 2017 – 2019.

Binge drinking is considered to be five more drinks within a two-hour period, and it can have devastating effects on a child’s brain development.

“When a teenager or adolescent consumes alcohol, it is rewiring their brain for future addiction,” Clegg said. “If we can delay that first drink until a later age, then that can prevent future alcohol addiction.”

The campaign is a collaborative effort between Valley Behavioral Health, Tooele Communities that Care, the Tooele County School District, and the statewide Parentsempowered.org campaign.

Clegg said research indicates that parents are the No. 1 reason kids decide not to drink. Spending just 10 – 15 minutes with their child in a meaningful way can be a big factor in decreasing their chances of underage drinking.

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