A year-long federal pilot project aimed at curbing underage drinking in the Mason City area is being deemed a success.
Seven different waves of high-visibility enforcement were conducted between October 2011 and September 2012 that included retail alcohol compliance checks and party patrols.
Mason City Youth Task Force project coordinator Carol Brown says law officers reported positive outcomes from the project.
She says comments from the Mason City and Clear Lake police departments and Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office included seeing good results from having the extra money to do their law enforcement activities.
They had various celebrations to cover during the year and needed extra help to pay for overtime, which in turn, created positive results with the extra enforcement.
Mason City and Louisville, Kentucky, were chosen as the two sites for the demonstration project by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Brown says Mason City had better results than Louisville as all of the schools in Cerro Gordo county were onboard with the survey, which was done online for easy analysis.
She says Louisville didn’t have the online connection to get their surveys online so they didn’t have the amount of participation or as much cooperation from law enforcement and schools.
Brown says public awareness of underage drinking issues will continue as a focus of the Youth Task Force for the next five years, and they’ll keep searching for funding to support that goal.
By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City