City of Elgin taking active role in alcohol sales to minors - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

City of Elgin taking active role in alcohol sales to minors

Elgin_The city of Elgin is taking an active role in keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors.  The community has suffered the loss of at least two high school students, and has had many traffic accidents related to drunk driving. 

The "2 Much 2 Lose" campaign is taking off in Oklahoma to help put a stop to this ongoing problem.  So, Elgin Police invited area businesses that sell alcohol to come and be a part of the campaign's clerk training.  It educates those who sell alcohol about alcohol sale laws, and how to spot fake IDs. 

Checking identification may seem like a simple task, but for various reasons, some neglect, forget or even get scammed.  That's why the "2 Much 2 Lose" campaign hopes to identify ways to ensure that alcohol stays out of minors' hands.

Ernie Nieto owns a bar outside of Elgin.  It's an establishment that has been in business for years, and there are a lot of familiar faces coming and going.  But, there are some who want bar staff to think they've been there before.  "They'll say, ‘Oh, you've known me since I've been a kid'," says Nieto.  "Well, you're not getting in," he says. 

He and his wife attended the class to learn how to keep fake IDs from coming through his doors.  He knows that by not asking for ID, he's asking for trouble later. 

Retired Officer Ernie Tye explained that asking for an ID is not enough.  He says Oklahoma has one of the most sophisticated drivers licenses in the nation, so it's tough to duplicate.  There is a special message encoded in the ID, and it has an "Okay" mark that can be seen under certain lighting.  "if it's backlit, it will jump out at you - hard to fake those," he says.  "Too expensive to duplicate."

Tye says alcohol cannot get into the hands of a minor without the help of an adult - through negligence, oversight, or direct purchase.  That's why the "2 Much 2 Lose" message is geared toward adults.  "If we are negligent, we put alcohol in the hands of our youth," he says. 

The campaign primarily focuses on youth and teaching the dangers of alcohol, using fake IDs, and the consequences of these choices.  "We've had a lot of heartache here with kids drinking," says Tye.  "It's good to get people to spot this problem, and for them to be punished."

The campaign replaces the old "Project Under 21" program.  The decals hanging on doors of establishments that sell alcohol will be replaced with new decals from the "2 Much 2 Lose" campaign.  It's a fresh approach to a time tested program.  If you are a business owner, and would like to know more about the program, log onto their website at www.2much2lose.com.

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