Underage Drinking

Underage Drinking

Underage Drinking is a serious public health issue. Tragically, underage drinking has many societal and human costs and consequences.

  • 2016 Barnwell County CTC data reports that 41.1% of 9th graders, 39% of 10th graders, 52.0% of 11th graders and 59.2% of 12th graders report having used alcohol in their lifetime.
  • 21.1% of 9th graders, 16.6% of 10th graders, 26.1% of 11th graders, and 31.7% of 12th graders reported using alcohol in the 30 days prior to the 2016 CTC survey.
  • 22% of females and 25.2% of males reported using alcohol in the 30 days prior to completing the 2016 CTC survey.
  • 29% of causations and 19.3% of other races reported using alcohol in the 30 days prior to completing the 2016 CTC survey.
  • of those 9th-12th graders who reported drinking alcohol, reported binge drinking two weeks prior to completing the 2016 CTC survey.
    • 14.2% of 9th graders
    • 11.6% of the 10th graders
    • 16% of the 11th graders
    • 21.1% of the 12th graders

For more information on how you can join the effort to prevent underage drinking, contact the Axis I Center of Barnwell at (803) 541-1245.

Resources for preventing underage drinking and how to talk to your child about underage drinking go to MADD’s Power of Parents and MADD’s Power of Youth.


Youth and Alcohol Information

Alcohol Enforcement Team

Barnwell County is served by the 2nd Judicial Circuit Alcohol Enforcement Team (AET). Our Alcohol Enforcement Team (AET) is a specialized group of law enforcement officers dedicated to enforcing underage drinking laws. Coupled with an active public education and prevention strategy, Alcohol Enforcement Teams (AETs) are intended to implement evidence-based environmental strategies to reduce underage alcohol use and its harmful consequences. Enforcement of existing laws to restrict use and access by youth is one of the most useful tools in prevention, and prevention agency/law enforcement partnerships can lead to some of our most powerful and sustainable outcomes..

The AET model, which includes community coalition maintenance and development, merchant education, and law enforcement partnership, specifies a multi- or single-jurisdictional alcohol law enforcement approach (depending on the needs and participation of law enforcement within the target area) in a community to:

  • Reduce youth access to alcohol utilizing various strategies (social and retail access)
  • Measure, track, and improve merchant compliance with alcohol laws
  • Provide research-based merchant education
  • Build community support for enforcement for underage drinking laws through media advocacy and community coalition maintenance and development
  • Develop local law enforcement support for underage drinking prevention and enforcement efforts

The AET incorporates specialized training and strategies to focus on reducing access and use of alcohol by underage persons.

The 2nd Judicial Circuit AET serves all areas of Barnwell, Aiken, and Bamberg Counties. Enforcement efforts conducted by the team include:
• Compliance Checks (sending underage youth into retail establishments to attempt to purchase alcohol).
• Party Patrols (monitoring communities for underage alcohol parties).
• Casual Contacts (a community policing effort to create awareness of the risk associated with underage alcohol use).
• Traffic Enforcement (routine traffic patrol and traffic checkpoints looking for underage alcohol use).
• Public Presentations (speaking to youth, parents, businesses and other community members about underage alcohol use).

The following agencies participate in the Barnwell AET efforts:
• Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office
• Barnwell Police Department
• Blackville Police Department
• Williston Police Department

For more information on the Barnwell County AET program, contact Pam Rush, Director of Prevention Services, (803) 541-1245, ext. 246.

Out of Their Hands Campaign

Each year, the AETs hold an “Out of Their Hands” (OOTH) Spring Blitz. During this annual event, strict enforcement of underage drinking laws is coupled with strong media messages throughout the month. The AETs and their enforcement and education partners engage community residents, businesses, and others to deny alcohol access to youth who are less than 21 years of age. The simple message of the OOTH campaign is that the AETs work with the community to keep alcohol “out of their hands.”

Throughout prom and graduation season, teens, schools, community members, and law enforcment are reminding everyone that it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors!  Take a look to see what events are apart of the “Out of Their Hands” campaign!

To learn about the statewide campaign visit http://www.scoutoftheirhands.org/

Out of Their Hands

Alcohol Education Program (AEP)
The Alcohol Education Program (AEP) is offered to youth under the age of 21 who have been charged with an alcohol related offence (minor in possession of alcohol, open container, or possession of fake identification), those referred by school officials, or those referred by parents are all eligible for the 8 hour alcohol education class.

The program is designed to discourage future underage drinking through a series of sessions that help achieve attitude and behavior changes in young people. The eight-hour alcohol education class can be done in 4 weekly 2 hour sessions or can be completed in an eight-hour day.

For youth under 21 years of age that have received an alcohol charge, please contact Janet Jenkins at the 2nd Judicial Circuit Solicitors Office to enroll in the Alcohol Education Program by calling (803) 642-1557.

Once you have enrolled in the AEP program with the Solicitor’s Office, she will refer you to the Axis I Center to enroll in the 8-hour alcohol education class. Cost of the 8-hour alcohol education class is $100 to be paid in cash or money order.

For more information call Pam Rush, Director of Prevention Services at 803-541-1245, ext 246.