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Teens support alcohol ordinance

By By Fredie Carmichael/The Meridian Star
July 19, 2001
Some teen-agers in Lauderdale County say they are so tired of seeing underage drinkers die in car wrecks that they are backing a proposal to prohibit anyone under 21 from drinking alcoholic beverages.
Most of the 15 county teen-agers interviewed Wednesday said that they would like to see the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors approve the proposal. Supervisors set a public hearing for 5 p.m. today at the Lauderdale County Courthouse Annex,
In a heated supervisor's meeting last week, board president Jimmy Smith argued that arresting anyone under 21 for drinking alcohol is too harsh. But Sheriff Billy Sollie said he believes the proposal would help reduce the number of "dead teen-agers."
State law prohibits public drunkenness and underage possession of alcohol; it does not prohibit anyone under 21 from drinking alcohol. The proposal county supervisors are considering is similar to one Meridian approved in 1982.
One teen opposes proposal
One teen-ager said that she doesn't see anything wrong with teen-agers drinking alcohol, as long as they aren't drunk or don't drive. The teenager, one of two interviewed who opposed the proposal, asked not to be identified because she didn't want her parents to know her feelings.
Other teenagers had different opinions.
Teens back misdemeanor charge
The teenagers said they agreed that the misdemeanor punishment in the proposed ordinance would fit the crime.
T.J. Crane, 19, and a Clarkdale Attendance Center graduate, agreed with Mosley.
Fredie Carmichael is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3228 or E-mail him at fcarmichael@themeridianstar.com.
QUOTES FOR INSIDE JUMP
T.J. Crane, 19, student at Meridian Community College
Diane Moody, 18, Southeast Lauderdale High School graduate
Megan Hoffer, 19, student at Meridian Community College
Scott Brinkley, 20, MCC graduate
Brandy Cramblitt, 20, MCC student
Justin Qualls, 17, Northeast Lauderdale senior
Here is a look at an alcohol proposal Lauderdale County supervisors are considering.
The issue: Supervisors are considering whether to forbid anyone under 21 from drinking alcohol.
The hearing: Supervisors will host a public hearing on the issue at 5 p.m. today in the courthouse annex.
Next step: Supervisors could vote after the hearing whether to approve the alcohol-drinking ordinance.

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