Fighting underage drinking 'by the numbers' - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Fighting underage drinking 'by the numbers'

Autumn & Summer Baclaan Autumn & Summer Baclaan
Makamae Ah Mook Sang Makamae Ah Mook Sang
Jim Neibuhr Jim Neibuhr
Kevin Schmidt Kevin Schmidt

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The numbers 0013 are beginning to appear all over the state. It's part of new campaign to crack down on underage drinking.

Hawaii is one of only four states to receive a federal grant to address the issue.

The Baclaan sisters know first hand about the dangers of underage drinking.

"A lot of my friends in high school, they had parties and they went drinking, done a lot of illegal stuff," said 18-year-old Autumn Baclaan.

"I've seen violence. I've seen people get hurt. I've seen people get sick. And that is not a pretty sight at all," said 21-year-old Summer Baclaan.

Last July, a Roosevelt High School student died from alcohol poisoning. 15-year-old Makamae Ah Mook Sang's blood alcohol level was five times the legal limit for driving.

At JJ Dolan's is a new effort to combat underaged drinking. The Chinatown restaurant/bar is one of several businesses teaming up with the Department of Defense Enforcement of Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) project in Hawaii.

"Throughout the years, you see the fake ID's, there used to be down in Waikiki, you used to stick your face in the thing and have an instant Hawaii driver's license," said Jay Neibuhr, co-owner of JJ Dolan's.

"You see my t-shirt? What we've done is we're taking this equation right here and we're using it to define responsible drinking," said Kevin Schmidt, EUDL Program Manager.

Here's the concept behind the 0013 program:

0 = zero underage drinking

0 = zero DUI's or alcohol-related violations.

1 = 1 drink per hour*

3 = 3 drinks max*

*age 21 and over

Schmidt says the 0013 equation is based on science. For example, Schmidt says the latest research shows that the young adult's mind is not fully developed until about age 22, so waiting until 21 to drink minimizes any health risks associated with alcohol.

Also, one drink per hour is how much an average person's liver can process.

And limiting yourself to three drinks will likely keep your blood alcohol content below the legal limit.

"Now at no time do we ever recommend getting behind the wheel. We're not saying if you just limit yourself to three drinks you're safe to drive - no," said Schmidt.

Instead, Schmidt says it's about driving these numbers, 0013, into young minds, to prevent them from becoming a tragic statistic.

The federal grant funds the EUDL project in Hawaii, and the 0013 program.

They include workshops and seminars in schools, plus a promotional campaign to raise awareness, as well as working with police to enforce Hawaii's alcohol laws.

Schmidt says in 2007, Hawaii was ranked as the top state in the country for alcohol-related deaths involving at least one legally intoxicated driver.

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