Local groups applaud TABC decision

by Larry Lemmons
Newschannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Local groups are applauding the decision made by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to grant amnesty to minors who seek medical help in an emergency.

The TABC says they want to get the word out that minors will not be cited for possession if they take a friend to the hospital who's in need of medical attention. The idea is to prevent deaths.

"Kids are not mature enough to handle the amount of alcohol they're consuming. And that's why alcohol deaths are increasing, suicide is increasing, teenage pregnancy is increasing," says Stan Scofield who lost his son John by accidental drug overdose. He formed the organization Joint Alliance for Students to educate parents about the need to be more involved with their kids, to be on top of drug and alcohol use.  "The parents are the key."

He likes the effort being made to encourage minors to seek medical help by offering amnesty.  Brian Bond of the TABC says, "We don't want them to stop and think, well, should I call the police and report this I might get an MIP, I might get in trouble. They shouldn't be thinking that. Their first thought should be the saving of life, getting medical attention for an emergency situation."

The Joint Alliance for Students has teamed with Students in Free Enterprise out of W.T. to encourage parents to use alcohol testing kits.  Leroy Clifford of SIFE says "What these do is they're an outlet for kids to escape the peer pressure so they can say, you know, I'm not drinking tonight guys, my parents have these kits and if they test me you know, there goes all my privileges so it gives them a good safe way out."

They're trying to raise money to get the kits into local schools so they can give them to parents.