Frei’s positive attitude inspires othersJul 14, 2022 01:13PM ● By Becky Ginos
CLEARFIELD—If a child drinks by the age of 15, they’re four times more likely to be addicted to alcohol by the age of 21. Parent involvement in their child’s life can make all the difference in preventing underage drinking.
“The age between 9 and 13 is the time when children make up their minds about what alcohol is,” said Gladyris Larsen, Chair of the North Davis Communities that Care. “Parental support is the number one reason kids don’t drink. We need the community to come together to create a safe environment to teach them why those things in life are important.”
North Davis Communities that Care and Parents Empowered brought together 14 community partners last week to kick off a campaign to support underage drinking prevention and to get the word out about this problem among youth. More than 200 vehicles throughout the county will have magnets with positive messaging about how to prevent underage drinking.
“We’re thrilled to be part of this program,” said Rich Muirbrook, business development and communication for Morgan Pavement. “We have 181 trucks and we drive 2 million miles in Utah. We wanted to leverage our busiest month which is July by putting these magnets on all of our vehicles.”
Alcohol can affect brain development and impair memory, he said. “It’s linked to suicide, depression and violent behavior. Our goal is to provide the safest streets in the community.”
“We’re excited to participate in this campaign,” said Clearfield Police Chief Kelly Bennett. “We’re proud to have these magnets on all of our vehicles. There are 19 marked vehicles and officers in unmarked cars will have them too. It’s smaller and on the back so that when people are stopped at a red light behind our car they’ll see that message.”
If parents spend just 15 minutes a day with their children and strengthen that bond, the less likely they’ll start drinking, Bennett said. “Make the rule that underage drinking is not allowed. Stay involved in your kid’s life. When they go out ask them where they’re going, who they will be with, when they will be home and will there be alcohol. Ask those questions repeatedly. Constant communication is critical.”
“In my career I’ve seen lots of problems related to alcohol,” said Davis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Andrew Oblad. “Anything we can do to discourage young people from drinking is money well spent. We want to protect the kids and other people on the road. Most things we get involved in are negative. It’s good to get involved in a positive thing.”
“Parents have to understand they are the key influence in their child’s life – not their peers,” said Bennett. “Have those critical conversations. We’d love to give that message to the community. This is a simple way to do that.” λ