Houlton program to curb underage drinking a model

15 years ago

Enforcement agencies, along with Aroostook Substance Abuse Prevention, Community Voices, Healthy Aroostook, and the Power of Prevention, are encouraging parents and guardians to request a P.a.C.T., Police and Communities Together, form.
   P.a.C.T., a program initiated by the Houlton Police Department, has gained support and adoption by nine Aroostook County enforcement agencies. This form allows parents and guardians to contact participating agencies and request that their residence be monitored for underage drinking and parties. There is no age limit, therefore this service can be requested for a variety of scenarios including if a teen is home alone, a young teen is home with an older teen babysitter, or a college-age student is at the residence and in all cases the parent or guardian is not.
Maine law dictates that it is illegal to furnish alcohol to a minor or provide a place for minors to consume alcohol. Maine law also makes it illegal for any parent to knowingly allow a person under age 21 to remain in their home or on their property while consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages. While it is not illegal for a teen to remain at a residence when the parent is not there, potential liabilities from underage drinking and possible injury can result in legal and civil action.
P.a.C.T. proponents suggest homeowners can protect themselves, their children and their community by following these guidelines:
• Host safe, alcohol-free activities and events for youth • Refuse to supply alcohol to underage youth or allow drinking in your home or on your property • Make sure your teenager’s friends do not bring alcohol into your home/property • Talk to other parents about not providing alcohol • Report underage drinking parties or violations by calling local police or: 1-800-924-2261 • Contact enforcement agencies to monitor your home if you plan to leave overnight.
A P.a.C.T. request form is available online at www.asapcoalition.com/resources/pact.html. For more information, call a local enforcement agency, Aroostook Substance Abuse Prevention in Houlton at 521-5208.