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Regional panel honors efforts to reduce underage drinking

 

Last updated 8/10/2018 at 4:47pm

Shane Gibson photo

Members of the Youth Advocacy Coalition presents Jake Kruger, center, of the San Diego County Sheriff's Crime Prevention a certificate of recognition during Fallbrook Summer Nights, Aug. 3.

NORTH COUNTY – The Alcohol Policy Panel of San Diego County recently honored an Escondido businesswoman, a Fallbrook mother, and a Fallbrook crime prevention specialist for their efforts to help reduce binge and underage drinking in their communities.

Ron Stark, program manager for North Inland Community Prevention, presented certificates of recognition to Veronica Hernandez of Fallbrook and Linda Garcia of Escondido during the panel's quarterly general assembly and breakfast, held June 15 at the North Inland Live Well Center in Escondido.

Crime prevention specialist Jake Kruger, who works out of the Fallbrook Sheriff's Station, was the third honoree.

The Alcohol Policy Panel is a coalition of law enforcement officials, volunteer community advocates, and agency representatives focused on reducing alcohol-related problems in San Diego County.

North Inland Community Prevention provides youth substance abuse prevention services in Escondido and other communities within the county's north inland region. Stark told more than 60 people at the breakfast that the panel's honorees are actively involved in the prevention of high-risk drinking.

Hernandez has been an adult ally for the Fallbrook Youth Advocacy Coalition for several years. The group's teenage members work on alcohol and drug issues in Fallbrook. Hernandez also recruited a group of parents who do similar work.

"Veronica goes above and beyond to help organize community activities and invite parents to get involved and help prevent underage drinking," Stark said. "She is a good role model and mentor showing how anyone can get involved in their community and make it safer and healthier by reducing illegal and underage access to alcohol and drugs."

Garcia owns a formal wear store in Escondido. Stark said Garcia jumped at the chance to participate in North Inland Community Prevention's recent "Protect Your Prom Memories" campaign, which reminded prom-going teens not to use alcohol or drugs or host underage drinking parties on their big night.

Courtesy photo

North Inland Community Prevention program manager Ron Stark presents Fallbrook resident Veronica Hernandez with an Alcohol Policy Panel of San Diego County certificate recognizing her efforts to help prevent binge and underage drinking.

"She's a very good example of the many responsible (business owners) in Escondido that are concerned about more than just their bottom line," said the program manager.

Stark commended Kruger for mentoring the youth coalition, seeking their input on crime prevention in Fallbrook, and helping them coordinate their alcohol and drug prevention activities.

Prevention advocates throughout the county regularly remind people there is no safe setting for underage drinking and emphasize the need for a community approach to its prevention.

County residents can do their part by refusing to provide an underage drinking venue. Social host ordinances in place in the county and each of its cities add "oomph" to the message with provisions allowing for the arrest of party hosts who violate the laws.

Violators may also be fined up to $1,000 and be required to cover the cost of any enforcement actions associated with their events.

For more information about the Alcohol Policy Panel, go to http://alcoholpolicypanel.org.

 

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