Jul 29, 2014
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Zachary Ploppert: It's TIme to Raise the Fine and Send a Message About Underage Drinking

An opinion article about underage drinking.

Zachary Ploppert: It's TIme to Raise the Fine and Send a Message About Underage Drinking Zachary Ploppert: It's TIme to Raise the Fine and Send a Message About Underage Drinking Zachary Ploppert: It's TIme to Raise the Fine and Send a Message About Underage Drinking

If you look at the information about underage drinking tickets issued for the city of Geneva, you will find the number of tickets issued has declined in recent years, and overall, the amount of underage drinking tickets issued is relatively low.

After reviewing this data I was, at first, very surprised. After thinking about it for a few moments (more like days), I realized that this decrease in tickets issued actually makes sense. The fact that the number of tickets issued for underage drinking has decreased does not mean that the amount of underage drinking going on in Geneva is also decreasing. Instead, I would suggest that those individuals who are underage drinking are learning from their mistakes and the mistakes of others.

If someone gets busted for underage drinking, they're going to learn from the mistake that led them to get caught. Now this is not to say that there aren't some who won't learn from their mistake—because there certainly are. Once again, we have underestimated our younger citizens. They are seeing and experiencing what our is doing to combat underage drinking, and they are adapting to it.

I can tell you with out a doubt in my mind that the Geneva Police Department and the city of Geneva take an absolutely hard line on the issue of underage drinking. It is time, however, for the Police Department and the city to adapt to the always-changing habits of those who are drinking underage. I do not and will never claim to have the magic answer, but if we all come together and work at this problem together, we can certainly make a significant amount of headway.

I say it is time for the city of Geneva and the Geneva Police Department to raise the fine issued for drinking underage from $100 to $250.

I understand that the rate of the tickets issued has declined, but that should not prevent the city from sending a message. If I were to put myself back in a high schooler's shoes, I would be making roughly $250 every pay check (every two weeks.) If I were to get caught underage drinking (and at this time I would like to go on the record as saying I did not drink in high school), paying $100 would certainly put me in a foul mood. This foul mood would lead to me cursing whatever led me to get caught. All of this cursing and being in a foul mood would lead me to make sure not to make that same mistake twice.

One hundred dollars would certainly be a lot of money to me, but it is not even half a pay check. If the fine were $250, that would be an entire paycheck lost and make me think seriously about not drinking again. The $100 fine compared to $250 is a huge difference to someone who is underage.

To conclude, I understand there are plenty of underage people in our city who do not drink but to the ones who do, it is time the city of Geneva and the Geneva Police Department sent a message by raising the underage drinking fine from $100 to $250.

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