Police crack down on underage drinking as graduation season begins

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - April begins the prom and graduation season, a time when celebrations can turn dangerous for underage drinkers.

During the prom and graduation season, the North Charleston Police Department says they will conduct various operations to educate students of the consequences of under age drinking; and engage retailers to prevent underage alcohol purchasing.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2005, during Prom and Graduation Season (April, May, June) 676 students under the age of 21 were killed in alcohol related traffic crashes.

On April 7, members of the North Charleston Police Department's Special Police Enforcement to Enhance and Deter Team (S.P.E.E.D.) conducted an alcohol enforcement operation targeting retail establishments.

An underage informant, accompanied by an undercover officer, entered different businesses throughout the city. The underage informant then purchased alcoholic beverages from the businesses. At the conclusion of the operation, seven ndividuals were charged with sale of beer or wine to a person under 21.

Police Chief Jon Zumalt said, "Each year we work to raise awareness of the dangers involved in underage drinking and we will continue to hold retailers accountable when they contribute to the problem."

Information provided by City of North Charleston.