July 14, 2010 Edition

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Justices approve ordinance to
restrict serving minors alcohol

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

Captain Jody Dotson of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department presented an ordinance to the Quorum Court that would prohibit adults providing or serving alcohol to minors, even if they are related to them.

Mary Jane Callahan, a board member for the Lawrence County Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Coalition, said, "Right now I could give alcohol to virtually anyone I am related to and not get in trouble."

The ordinance allows parents to give alcohol to their own son or daughter, but not to any other juvenile, even if they are related. Although state law does not impede adults from providing alcohol to related minors, it does allow for local authorities to enact a stronger law.

Violators will face a $500 fine for first offenses and $1,000 for second offenses, as well as possible further charges through the prosecuting attorney.

The ordinance was passed by Quorum Court members with an emergency clause so that it will go into effect within 30 days.

"I appreciate the members of the ATOD Coalition who have put a lot of time and research into preparing this ordinance, as well as the Quorum Court for passing the ordinance," Dotson said. "I believe it will be a great asset in protecting the youth of Lawrence County."

In other business, a lease was approved that allows for two new road graders to be used by the Lawrence County road department. Each grader will cost $1,379 per month.

In addition, the court passed two ordinances to appropriate funds. One was for $262 from grant funds for a veterans memorial to be erected in College City. The other was for $1,790 for equipment and supplies for the Office of Emergency Management.

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