Community Trials Intervention to Reduce High-Risk Drinking

Almost 1 in 4 victims of violent crimes report that the perpetrator had been drinking prior to committing the violence. Additionally, underage drinking and its related consequences cost the state of VT an estimated $123.4 million in 2010! Click here for more info. Costs that are associated with youth violence, youth traffic crashes, teen pregnancy, alcohol poisoning, high-risk sex, property crime, alcohol treatment and more. BPHC is committed to reducing the negative impact of underage drinking on our community by supporting changes in policy and practice and increasing community education.

To do this we have been implementing components of the Community Trials Intervention to Reduce High-Risk Drinking (CTI) since 2009 in Burlington. CTI is a comprehensive. evidence-based SAMHSA Model Program. It has multiple components that were proven to alter alcohol use patterns of people of all ages and related problems in communities. Read more about CTI Program details.

Here are a few specific examples of our related projects:

Sticker Shock
Groups of youth and adult chaperones in Chittenden County work to reduce the negative consequences of underage drinking for Alcohol Awareness Month in April, and/or during prom and graduation season. Teams of adolescents, accompanied by an adult chaperones from the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community and Burlington High School, put stickers on multi-packs of alcoholic beverages and on alcohol cooler windows at participating stores in Burlington.

The stickers and window clings read: “WARNING. It is illegal to provide alcohol to a person under age 21. Fines are up to $10,000 and/or up to 5 years in jail.”

We asked a few of our youth volunteers why they participate in projects like these. Here’s what they had to say.

“I believe it’s important to get out into the community and remind people of simple things like how it’s illegal to supply minors with alcohol. It my seem like a little thing, but I think that people need to be reminded of the consequences, because they are there.” Lucas LaBounty

“I like participating in activities like these because it makes me feel like I’m an active member of the community and that I’m making a difference. I feel like I’m giving back to the community that helped raise me.” Julia Marchessault

“I believe that projects like sticker shock are important because awareness and prevention of underage alcohol consumption are important steps to making our community safer healthier. If a sticker warning of the consequences of providing alcohol to minors makes someone think twice and decide against giving alcohol to a minor, that’s one step forward.” Sabine Rogers

Responsible Beverage Service Trainings
Since 2008, our coalition has been working with the VT Department of Liquor Control, Burlington Police Department, and the Church Street Marketplace Association to increase training opportunities and support for Burlington alcohol licensees to sell alcohol responsibly. We’ve helped to host trainings for bar and restaurant staff to teach practical strategies to reduce violent incidences, underage drinking, and drinking and driving. A very big THANK YOU to all the businesses who voluntarily send their security, bartenders, and waitstaff to these trainings to help keep the community safe!

Alcohol Outlet Density
Sadly, Vermont currently leads the nation as the highest rate in the country of underage drinking in the past month (36.6%) and the highest rate of underage binge drinking in the past month (24.6%). Additionally, Vermont young adults were 2nd in the nation in past month alcohol consumption rate (73.7%) and 3rd in past month binge drinking (51.9%). Burlington’s use rates are no exception to this data.

Regulation of the density of places licensed to sell alcohol (through zoning and licensing) is a well proven strategy to reduce excessive alcohol consumption, underage drinking and related harms. We will support the City of Burlington to establish strong policies and ordinances that reflect a leadership and commitment to reducing alcohol abuse, binge drinking, and underage drinking rates to levels below the national average.

Public Education
We work to raise awareness of issues related to underage drinking and over consumption of alcohol in our community.

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