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blending prevention intervention and public policy enforcement

Blending Prevention, Intervention and Public Policy Enforcement

Alcohol Policy Conference 13


Presenters:Mark Ames, Program Development, Vermont Department Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse ProgramsThomas E. Perras Director, Vermont Department Health, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse ProgramsJohn D'Esposito Investigator/Trainer Vermont Department of Liquor ControlPaul Haskell Director of Justice-Works; coordinator of a local START program / parallel court diversion program

strategy state incentive grant new directions
Strategy: State Incentive Grant -New Directions
  • Science-based prevention
  • 23 coalitions
  • Local ownership
  • Prevention skills for parents, kids, communities and schools
strategy vermont league of cities and towns vlct and law enforcement
Strategy: Vermont League of Cities and Towns(VLCT) and law enforcement
  • Pass grant through VLCT
  • Fund START programs

Benefit: Expands sphere of influence by involving cities and towns in grass roots norm change.

VLCT subgrants to community START programs to break up underage drinking parties. Involves:
    • Sheriffs' departments
    • Local police
    • State's attorneys
    • Courts
  • Connect New Directions, VLCT and START

Benefit: Brings juvenile justice system into partnership of culture and norms change process.

strategy possession of malt beverage law
Strategy: Possession of Malt Beverage Law
  • Possession leads to:
    • Screening
    • Assessment
    • Treatment
    • Failure to comply = Loss of Driver’s License
indicators of norm change
Indicators of Norm Change:
  • Chittenden County State's Attorney speaking about processing of underage drinking cases,

"This issue is too important to not bring it to the court."

community reaction
Community reaction:
  • Parents saw that the law would be upheld.
  • Some parents objected.
  • Parents began to set boundaries for their children.
public policy change14
Public policy change:
  • Implemented through changing laws governing underage possession of malt beverage.
  • Requires offenders to go through diversion, be screened and enter treatment if necessary, or lose their license.
      • Vermont Substance Abuse Coalition
      • New Directions Advisory Council
      • START Advisory Council
  • Local:
      • New Directions coalitions
      • START coalitions
      • START enforcement teams
start advisory council
START Advisory Council
  • Attorney General's Office
  • Department of State's Attorneys
  • Agency of Human Services Planning Division OJJDP Coordinator
  • Department of Education
  • Governor’s Office on Highway Safety
  • Statewide Diversion Board coordinator
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Vermont State Police
  • Department of Liquor Control,
  • Burlington and other municipal police departments,
  • Rutland County Sheriff’s department
12 regional start coalitions
12 Regional START Coalitions
  • Minimum membership required:
      • Law enforcement agencies
      • State’s Attorney
      • Diversion Board Representative
      • Local Prevention coalition

Note: applicants required to involve any local substance abuse prevention coalition, which is a successful New Directions applicant.

What’s in a name?



All aspects of Underage Enforcement

the new directions grant process required coalitions to
The New Directions grant process required coalitions to:
  • use research based prevention approaches as the core of their project
  • participate in Vermont’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey
training new directions
Training - New Directions


  • Research-based programming


  • Local coalition coordinators
  • Local coalition members
  • State policy makers
  • Advisory Board Members
  • Grant Review Team
  • State agency and field prevention staff
  • Other prevention practitioners
training start
Training - START


  • Team Enforcement Strategies
  • Strategies for youth enforcement
  • Ways to involve the community


  • Vermont law enforcement community
training combined new directions and start
Training - Combined New Directions and START
  • Environmental Prevention
  • Collaborative approaches
Shared Ideas and Approaches
  • START and New Directions together
changing norms about underage drinking in vermont

Changing Norms About Underage Drinking in Vermont

Investigator John D’Esposito

Vermont Dept. Of Liquor Control

three legs of the stool
Three Legs of the Stool
  • Demand
  • Supply
  • Locale
what we can do for you
What We Can Do for You?

Case studies – Drinking Parties

Rutland County START



  • Large parties
  • Same location
  • Convenient
  • Very young teens
  • Parties go on all night
  • Small parties
  • Different locations
  • Remote locations
  • Older teens or adults
  • Expectation party will be broken up
zero nada none
Zero, Nada, None

Is a joint collaboration between:

  • Vermont Dept. of Education
  • Vermont Dept. of Liquor Control
  • Governor’s Highway Safety Program
  • Vermont Teen Leadership Safety Program & SADD
  • Local New Directions Coalitions
zero nada none34
Zero, Nada, None
  • On the local level, Z/N/ N is a collaboration between VTSLP & SADD groups and the New Directions Community Coalition in their area.
  • It will be piloted in areas with both partners.
zero nada none35
Zero, Nada, None
  • Teens and New Directions members will contact local stores that are licensed to sell wine, beer & liquor and ask them to sign the Zero, Nada, None Program Pledge
zero nada none36
Zero, Nada, None
  • The store pledges not to sell alcohol to anyone under 21- to comply with the law
zero nada none37
Zero, Nada, None
  • The store promises not to allow anyone who looks under 30 to purchase alcohol without proper identification.
zero nada none38
Zero, Nada, None
  • The store promises to refuse sales to anyone with false identification and to notify local law enforcement or the Dept. of Liquor Control immediately.
zero nada none39
Zero, Nada, None
  • The store promises to provide proper training to all employees to ensure the the state laws regarding the sale of alcohol are obeyed.
zero nada none40
Zero, Nada, None
  • The local partners will hold a press conference telling about Z/N/N and applauding the local retailers for their civic involvement
zero nada none41
Zero, Nada, None
  • The state partners will provide trainings for New Directions Coalitions and SADD & VTLSP on how to run Z/N/N
  • They will also provide program materials- buttons, pins, stickers, magnets, signs…
partnering the rutland way

Partnering the Rutland Way

Our County’s Blueprint to Success Through Partnership

we believe we can change things
We Believe We Can Change Things
  • We have a “can do” attitude
we value collaboration not competition
We Value Collaboration, Not Competition

We do not

  • Compete against each other for grants
  • We look for ways to do the task with partners
we are equal partners
We Are Equal Partners
  • There are no all stars
  • We recognize the efforts of all in media
we face our problems head on
We Face Our Problems Head-on
  • We don’t deny that they are there
  • We don’t sugar-coat them
  • We don’t manage the media
we believe in recognizing our work
We Believe in Recognizing Our Work

Upcoming RAP awards night includes:

  • START awards
  • RBFS awards
  • Mentoring awards
  • “Ark” award
  • Youth group
we layer our relationships on each other
We Layer Our Relationships on Each Other
  • Each relationship builds on those before it
  • Partners know what to expect from each other
we value our employees
We Value Our Employees
  • Governance and supervision is inclusive
  • We value them and treat them as full partners
mentoring programs
Mentoring Programs
  • Involve other partners in training & recruitment
  • Work it out program
alcohol retailers have to be trained
Alcohol Retailers Have to Be Trained
  • Training includes tobacco laws
  • Seminar attendees pass compliance checks for alcohol & tobacco at higher rates than either persons trained in-house or who are untrained
  • We can offer this training to more people through these grants, and will have less tobacco sold to minors
the rap coalition also has an anti drug media campaign
The RAP Coalition Also Has an Anti-drug Media Campaign
  • They rotate on different times between different drugs to focus on
  • They use coalition members, such as our Youth Council, to produce them
  • They co-produced the Keeping Our Kids drug –free Booklet
responsible retailer recognition programs
Responsible Retailer Recognition Programs
  • Coalitions can recognize retailers which successfully/ continuously pass compliance checks
  • Media opportunity
law enforcement partners
Rutland City Police Dept.

Brandon Police Dept.

Fair Haven Police Dept.

Castleton Police Dept.

Rutland County Sheriff’s Dept.

Vermont State Police

Vermont Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

Vermont Dept. of Liquor Control

Vermont Dept. of Motor Vehicles

Law Enforcement Partners
community partners
Community Partners
  • Rutland County Court Diversion
  • Rutland County State’s Attorney’s Office
  • Rutland Area Prevention Coalition
stop the party before it starts
Stop the Party Before It Starts
  • Partner with schools
  • Party hotline
  • Community coalitions
  • Student non-users
  • Informed retailers
stop the party before it starts58
Stop the Party Before It Starts
  • Preplan according to calendar
  • Special upcoming events
  • Know your area
  • Partner with party alternatives (counter programming)
fish wildlife patrol
Fish & Wildlife Patrol
  • Game Wardens patrol fishing access & state lands
  • Minors often drink in these locations
  • Wardens can also issue F&W tickets @ same time
  • Reduces damages @state lands, citizens can use them freely
beach patrol
Beach Patrol
  • Plainclothes officers visit state beaches
  • Minors often drink at the beaches & parks
  • Officers also often find drug violations
parking lot patrol
Parking Lot Patrol
  • Two plainclothes officers in unmarked
  • One has drug experience
  • At teen dance clubs, malls, plaza, bar lots
  • Great training opportunity
assistant doorman
Assistant Doorman
  • Plainclothes officer stands next to doorman at nightclub
  • Officer does not check ID, but is given false/altered licenses
  • Officer finds underage drinkers trying to get in
reactive response
Reactive Response
  • Citizens or police officers call in parties in progress
  • Police survey situation and make recommendations
  • Coordinators call out needed number of officers
  • We had 12 officers respond in 30 minutes to a party
proactive patrols
Proactive Patrols
  • Planned outings when parties may be held
  • Held at times of historic drinking-graduation, pig roast, clam bake, proms
  • Has resulted in amazing response times when complaints come in
black friday initiative
“Black Friday Initiative”
  • Friday after Thanksgiving is heaviest underage drinking day
  • Coordinated county-wide efforts
  • Returning college students drink w/ friends
prom fashion show
Prom Fashion Show
  • START provided an officer at a booth at a mall fashion show
  • Officer was available to give information to prom-goers & their families about underaged drinking
snowmobile races
Snowmobile Races

This year, there have been a lot of alcohol-related snowmobile deaths & injuries

Officers used fatal vision goggles at display and in pit with drivers

Races sponsored by RAP Coalition as healthful alternative

vermont s teen alcohol safety program
Vermont’s Teen Alcohol Safety Program.

Paul Haskell

Executive Director


The Community Justice Umbrella for the Upper Valley

vermont s act 160
Vermont’s Act 160.
  • How law enforcement, the judicial system, and community-based justice respond to underage drinking.
    • How it works.
    • Preliminary results.
    • Advances in the therapeutic model.
what act 160 does
What Act 160 Does.

GOAL: increase enforcement of underage possession laws.

  • Decriminalizes underage possession.
  • Replaces criminal penalties with community-based Teen Alcohol Safety Program (TASP).
tasp the teen alcohol safety program
TASP –The Teen Alcohol Safety Program.
  • Enroll with County Diversion Program.
  • Must get an alcohol assessment.
  • Basic alcohol education.
  • Other conditions applied locally.
locally directed provisions
Locally Directed Provisions:
  • Meet with “Hearing Board”.
  • Basic alcohol education (ex. ENCARE).
  • Perform community service.
  • Research paper/presentation.
tasp costs
TASP Costs:
  • Fine ($100) for ticket.
  • Local Diversion Fee ($80 - $150)
  • Alcohol assessment ($80 - $120)
    • tx if recommended ($300+)
  • Average: $400.
tasp penalties
TASP Penalties:

Failure to comply:

  • up to 90 days suspension of license.
  • $50 reinstatement fee.
  • increased insurance premiums.
early results
Early Results …

Experience from Windsor County

(20 months)

  • 10% of VT
  • 57,000 people
  • 3,101 age 15 – 21
  • mostly rural

FY 2001 (Criminal PMB)…… 65

FY 2002 (Civil PMB)………….. 281

CHANGE…………………………….. 216

Percent Change…………………. 432%

Source: Justice-Works! (Windsor County Court Diversion Programs, Inc.)

underage summons
Underage Summons.

Source: Justice-Works! (Windsor County Court Diversion Programs, Inc.)

  • changing norms = “market share”
    • did the goal of increasing enforcement make a difference?
  • changing behavior
    • do mandated assessments mean behavior change?
market share
“Market Share”

underage citations relative to alcohol users and bingers age 16 - 21

Source: Justice-Works! (Windsor County Court Diversion Programs, Inc.)

good news bad news
Good News / Bad News.

 Interdiction rate is up 400%!

 Completion rate is down (73% vs. 91%).






Source: Justice-Works! (Windsor County Court Diversion Programs, Inc.)

from tasp to t mad
From TASP to T-MAD.
  • Where public policy hits the road.

In other words:

  • What if they gave a public policy and nobody stayed.
variations in tasp
Variations in TASP.
  • 9 x 13 manila.
  • shake n’ bake.
  • rattle n’ roll.
  • just plain clueless.
justice works
  • Comprehensive assessment (GAIN).
  • Multi-dimensional (family/supporters).
  • Offers support for significant, sustainable change.
justice works continued
  • UAs.
  • Accepts multiple offenses
  • T-MAD (teen recovery/support).
    • Meaningful community service.
    • Recovery-focused.
  • “Decriminalization” is working to change norms.
  • Community-based can support behavior change (or not).
  • Community justice is social capital.

From 1999 to 2001,

New Directions communities reduced youth substance use.

They achieved greater reductions on nine substance use measures examined through the Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey, relative to the remainder of the state.

Another research effort also found significant impact from New Directions coalitions on alcohol use, lending even more credibility to the results…

“Results of our statistical analyses show significantly, and substantially, larger declines in alcohol use among Grade 7-8 students in the New Directions communities than among students in the comparison communities that did not have New Direction coalitions."Brian S. Flynn, ScD, Office of Health Promotion Research (OHPR), memo of February 23, 2003.


"However, to my knowledge, never has a set of community led coalitions as a group demonstrated the impacts that the New Directions coalitions have. In brief, I expect that the work of your Vermont coalitions and that of your evaluation team will be widely noticed and widely cited, for providing a clear and compelling exemplar of the promise of comprehensive community coalitions. Bravo to all involved!"Paul Florin, consultant to the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.