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Senator Meyer’s Underage Drinking Bill Passes State Affairs Committee

(JUNEAU) – The Senate State Affairs Committee yesterday passed out Senate Bill 194, “Civil Damages for Alcohol Violations”, sponsored by Senator Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage.

“Underage drinking is a huge problem in Alaska,” said Senator Meyer.  “According to the State of Alaska’s Plan to Reduce & Prevent Underage Drinking, 11 percent of all treatment admissions for alcohol abuse in the state were youngsters between 12 and 20.  An increase in civil damages would reinforce the message to young people that underage drinking will not be tolerated.”

SB 194 increases civil damages to licensees from minors who knowingly enter or remain in premises licensed to sell alcohol. The bill would increase the amount awarded in civil damages from $1,000 to $1,500.  The bill would also increase the civil damages against those who solicit or purchase alcohol for anyone under 21.

Additionally, SB 194 encourages education programs as part of sentencing in civil action suits for youths who have violated the law.

Senator Kevin Meyer has a long legislative history of keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors since his time on both the Anchorage Assembly and as a Representative in the Alaska State Legislature.

SB 194 now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee for its consideration.

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