National concerns about the rise of underage drinking are also a local concern.
LEWISTON, ID —
KLEW News spoke with an Idaho State Police Defective who works undercover concentrating on alcohol operations.
He told us "60% of children that reach 18 have tried alcohol at some point in time what that reflects locally is based on what I'm seeing out in our community is that we are at or above that level."
The detective believes it's because kids are getting savvier.
they can get fake ID's online or in some cases through family or close friends.
"And because of that the dangers that go with drinking underage seem to hit our community more often than drugs for minors so I would put it up there along with drugs as being the second biggest problem in this area," the detective said.
And what makes the problem worse he says it’s the amount.
He says kids from the age of 12 to 20 are drinking about 11-percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States and they drink large amounts in one sitting.
"It's what's considered binge drinking and 90% of minors consuming alcohol is binge drinking," said the detective.
He also says at least 50-percent of the time when they're making contact with minors consuming alcohol it has something to do with some other criminal citations.
However, as the problem seems to be increasing the punishment for underage drinking has decreased from a misdemeanor criminal offense to a civil penalty.
"The fine almost five hundred dollars and it's an infraction now they'd have to go to the court and pay for it like a regular traffic citation,” Patrol Sergeant Rich Adamson said.