2 Much 2 Lose 'teams' out in force for New Year's Eve - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

2 Much 2 Lose 'teams' out in force for New Year's Eve

Lawton_New Year's Eve is known to be the biggest party night of the year, and for many the celebration involves alcohol.  Some of those purchasing alcohol may be underage, and the City of Lawton has a program that's cracking down on it.  The "2 Much 2 Lose" program was created specifically to crack down on businesses that sell alcohol to people who are underage.

The statewide initiative focuses on reducing and preventing underage drinking - the number one preferred drug for kids.  The program's "team" consists of two teens and two officers.  The teens will attempt to purchase alcohol from local businesses with valid IDs.  If the clerk sells them alcohol without checking their IDs or calculating their age correctly, they will be cited.

Lynn "Fluffy" Mason, owner of Fluffy's Liquor, says he doesn't take any chances.  "At this time of year, we are very, very cautious," he said.  "We do not, I repeat do not want to sell to anyone under 21."  The store has a guard that constantly checks IDs, and if the guard slips up and lets someone underage in, that person will still be caught.  "If there is any reasonable reason that they might have missed them at the door, or whatever, you will also be asked at the counter," he said.

Detective Nancy Lombardo says that if you are a business that has a liquor license, avoiding the problem is simple.  "Nowadays you can hardly tell the age of a person - it is difficult," she said.  "So, in my opinion, the best bet is to just check everybody's ID - period."

The 2 Much 2 Lose program is not only aimed at liquor stores.  If you work at a bar or restaurant, you can count on law enforcement checking on those businesses, too.  Fifty-percent of alcoholics in the United States are under the age of 25, and 28% of fatal accidents involving teenagers are alcohol-related.
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