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This week, Jaime Lotter from our Government Relations department participated in a roundtable on substance abuse and the role of the courts for the state of New York. We were invited by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer’s office since we are providing support for one of his bills this year.  The bill would require minors who fail to comply with their underage alcohol possession sanctions to complete an alcohol education program or community service, as well as have their driver’s license suspended.

Sen. Ranzenhofer has been working for many years to strengthen New York’s underage alcohol laws. The roundtable included judges from Darien and Coxsackie, judges on the NY State Magistrates Association, the Rensselaer County District Attorney, and treatment professionals from the Long Beach Medical Center and Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.

This was a very collaborative group that discussed a holistic approach to addressing the problems of underage drinking in the state. Around the table, the attendees agreed that the comprehensive approach of swift punishment for failed compliance and the requirement for alcohol education would help address the frequency and severity of underage drinking.

We applaud Sen. Ranzenhofer for bringing this multidisciplinary group together to coordinate on solutions.