Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs Police Department has received a $43,000 grant to help curb underage drinking.
Police Capt. Joel Rae said the federal grant is being administered from Dec. 1 to April 2008 through Colorado's Liquor Enforcement Division. The grant will be used to send officers to training programs, to enforce the city's liquor laws through compliance checks and additional investigations and to develop and facilitate youth alcohol education and awareness programs at Steamboat Springs High School and Colorado Mountain College.
The EUDL grant, or Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws, will provide enough mo-
ney for the police department to use officers to spend additional time in bars, restaurants or liquor stores as a deterrent to minors purchasing alcohol. The money will allow officers to spend more time investigating where youth are getting alcohol.
At the end of the 17-month grant cycle, Rae hopes to see a difference in the number of minor in possession tickets and increased compliance with the city's liquor license laws.
"We've always enforced liquor laws but because of the demands of the job, manpower has been an issue," Rae said. "This grant will allow us to dedicate our resources to taking a multi-pronged approached to tackling the issues of underage drinking by broadening our scope of work."
Around $10,000 of the grant money is being given to Grand Futures Prevention Coalition to develop a youth task force, educational programs and alternative activities for teens to participate in.
Grand Futures is a community-based substance abuse prevention coalition organization in Northwest Colorado that provides education, training and research serviced in Routt, Grand and Moffat counties.
"We want to work with the liquor license holders and parents in the community because it is a community problem," Rae said. "We're really focusing our efforts on all groups of people involved with the underage drinking problem we have here, not just the people selling the alcohol."