Meeting to focus on underage drinking

KAPA‘A — In an effort to raise awareness about new research that points to the harmful effects of underage drinking, the Kaua‘i affiliate of the Hawai‘i Partnership to Prevent Underage Drinking is sponsoring a town hall meeting.

The meeting will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, at the Kapa‘a Neighborhood Center.

Presentations will be made by: Director of Liquor Control Eric Honma; Lt. Mark Scribner and Sgt. Kenneth Carvalho of the Kaua‘i Police Department; Kekai Seabury with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Kaua‘i Division; and Moana Ta‘a with the Shattered Dreams program.

In addition, a youth panel will provide its perspective on underage drinking and representatives of various agencies will be manning information tables from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

Statistics show that underage drinking is a widespread problem, said Mayor Bill “Kaipo” Asing.

“Here in Hawai‘i, one out of 10 eighth-graders and more than one-third of tenth-graders report that they have gotten drunk at least once. Can you imagine how this is affecting their developing brain and bodies?” he said in a news release. “As a community, we have to work together to let our children know that alcohol is very detrimental to their health and discourage them from using it.”

Membership in the Kaua‘i affiliate of HPPUD include: Chairman Eric Honma, director of the Department of Liquor Control; Assistant Chair Theresa Koki, anti-drug coordinator; and representatives of the County Council; state Department of Land and Natural Resources; Hawai‘i Air Guard; Kaua‘i Drug Court; Kaua‘i Fire Department; Kaua‘i Police Department; Shattered Dreams; and the West Kaua‘i Community Coalition.

In 2007, Acting Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu issued a call to action to prevent and reduce underage drinking.

“The latest research demonstrates a compelling need to address alcohol use early, continuously, and in the context of human development using a systemic approach that spans childhood through adolescence into adulthood. Such an approach can be effective when, as a nation and individually, we commit ourselves to solving the problem of underage drinking in America,” Moritsugu said in his report.

For more information, call Koki at 241-4925 or e-mail


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