The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Breaking News


July 7, 2012

Officials work to spread message of playing it safe when serving alcohol

Group wants to help curb underage and binge drinking

CLINTON — County officials are working toward reducing underage and binge drinking with the help of a new grant.

The Area Substance Abuse Council, along with various groups and county officials, is working on a new five-year grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

The grant is a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant, which involves a five-step planning process known to support positive youth development, reduce risk-taking behaviors, build on assets and prevent problem behaviors. The SPF SIG funds 23 Iowa counties.

“The Iowa Department of Public Health found a need for our county to implement new strategies,” Clinton County SPF SIG Coordinator Candace Seitz said. “We’re happy that the state decided we need the help.”

The group working on the grant includes officials from three local law enforcement departments along with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, public health officials, school officials, substance abuse agencies, youth organizations and the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce. Some of the main initiatives of their strategic plan include implementing policies at community events offering alcohol, local colleges and other groups and promoting their message.

Strategies for addressing underage drinking include compliance checks of alcohol retailers to address enforcement of laws, social host liability to address social access and promotion to increase community readiness.

Compliance checks at local establishments are a crucial part of the plan, according to Coordinator Candace Seitz.

“The group felt that using compliance checks to address enforcement issues of underage drinking will be most effective if they occur at least quarterly,” Seitz said. “These checks are not currently done consistently across the county due to a lack of countywide funding for compliance checks.”

Through Clinton County SPF SIG the collaborative group plans to complete compliance checks for 65 percent of all the retailers and restaurants in Clinton County for a total of 60 retailers or liquor license holders a year. The funding is not guaranteed each year from their source so alternative funding must be sought out in order to sustain this strategy.

Social host liability is another strategy that the group hopes to use to address social access of alcohol to minors since the group had a concern that youths under age 21 were often attending parties at homes where someone over 21 years resided and alcohol was being consumed. Currently the group is working on  implementing a social host ordinance that will be presented to the Clinton County Board of Supervisors in the near future. This ordinance will establish penalties for adult persons who knowingly permit or allow underage drinking and will encourage those persons to ensure that those activities are not occurring on premises under their control.

Promotion of alcohol advertisements is not an issue the collaborative group prioritized during the assessment process but IDPH has encouraged Clinton County to utilize the IDPH approved media campaign materials to increase community readiness. By the end of the SPF SIG project, 75 percent of the targeted youth will identify and be impacted by the “What Do You Throw Away” campaign for underage drinking.

Strategies for addressing adult binge drinking include alcohol restrictions at community events to address social access of alcohol, revise, create, and enforce College Campus Policies to address social access of alcohol, providing responsible beverage server training for special events to address retail access and the over serving of patrons and promotion to increase community readiness.

The hope is to make consistent policies regarding alcohol use across community events, not to hinder the event coordinators.

“We’re not trying to be offensive,” Seitz said. “We’re trying to protect them from liability, making sure their staff are trained. We want to make sure they are trained in how to deal with people who are intoxicated or underaged who are trying to purchase alcohol.”

While this strategy is easily misinterpreted by the public, the idea behind it is simple.

“We want to make sure events are protecting themselves and to help the community have safe events,” Seitz said.

By providing responsible beverage server training for special events they hope to prevent or reduce more underage drinking and binge drinking. The training is free and is only a few hours provided by representatives from the Area Substance Abuse Council.

“We want event planners to have policies to encourage training,” Seitz said. “If someone gets into a car drunk following their event and gets into an accident, the family can go after the establishment.”

The grant will go through June 30, 2014, but the group hopes its efforts through the grant will be sustainable long after.

For more information contact Seitz at or 243-2124.

Text Only
  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • Darryl Hogue mugshot Hogue will lead River Bend schools FULTON, Ill. — Nearly eight months after opening the search, the River Bend School Board has found a replacement for the retiring district superintendent Robert “Chuck” Holliday.Darryl Hogue, principal of Morrison Junior High School, in Morrison, Ill

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-22-14 water 2 Rotary Club donation gets water to Haitians CLINTON — Nine Haitian communities now have the blessing of clean water due to the work of local Iowa Rotary clubs, including Clinton’s, and the charity Water for Life.Water for Life Directors Joy and Leon Miller have been drilling wells for years as

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-22-14 Emily Evans 7 seek pageant crown CLINTON — The time has come for Miss Clinton County Brandy Herrington to pass her crown on to the next lucky contestant and this year the competition is thick.When the event commences on Saturday at the DeWitt Central Performing Arts Center, seven yo

    July 22, 2014 7 Photos

  • Jhanson Calling America home CLINTON — Born in Russia, Natasha Jhanson now considers the United States her home.When the 41-year-old was born in Russia, the Soviet Union was still intact. When Natasha was 14, the area split into multiple countries. At that point, her family move

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-18-14 Party in the Park Party in the Park a big hit CAMANCHE — Nearly 300 people joined together Thursday to celebrate their community and all it has to offer to its residents.During the fourth annual Party in the Park, Camanche combined all their forces including city councilmen, business owners and

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Choir reunion spanning five decades CLINTON — Music helped Dan Ivory form long-lasting bonds. A Clinton High graduate in 1989, Ivory said being able to sing and play in the marching band was a rewarding experience for him, one he has sorely missed over the last 25 years.“Being in a cap

    July 14, 2014

  • Jered Birt Birt joins Northeast staff DEWITT — After eight years of teaching physical education and coaching in the Central Community School District in DeWitt, Jered Birt, 33, will move to Northeast Middle/High School.Birt was recently named the assistant principal at Northeast Middle/H

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Y' raising funds with annual art event CLINTON — What difference can $20,000 make for the YWCA’s mission? That’s the amount raised from last year’s Art Under the Stars event, all of which went toward helping support the association’s victims of violence mission work.“It truly is entertain

    July 11, 2014

Clinton Herald Photos

Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.