Rep. Wamp Introduces “STOP” Underage Drinking Bill

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

WASHINGTON – Congressman Zach Wamp was joined by his Senate and House colleagues today in introducing a comprehensive measure to coordinate all federal programs and research initiatives on underage drinking and to fund a national media campaign to prevent the problem.

Congressman Wamp is a leading House sponsor of the legislation, called “The STOP (Sober Truth on Preventing) Underage Drinking Act.” The measure is also being sponsored by Representatives Tom Osborne (R-NE), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). An identical Senate companion bill was introduced today by U.S. Senators Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT).

“Unfortunately, illegal drinking is rampant today, and if you happen to travel to most beaches at Spring Break this year, you will see 14, 15 and 16-year-olds intoxicated, endangering themselves and everyone around them,” said Congressman Wamp. “This problem has been ignored too long, and parents need to demand accountability from the alcohol industry and the advertising industry.”

“Alcohol is a drug, and for many teenagers, it is the first one they try - then move on to others. We should stand together against underage drinking because while it is ignored by some, it is illegal and must be taken very seriously.”

Given that most children and underage youth who drink obtain the alcohol from their parents or another adult, the bill would authorize a national media campaign directed at adults. So far, Congressman Wamp and his colleagues in Congress have worked to secure more than $1 million for the Ad Council's campaign expected to begin this year. The STOP Act would authorize another $1 million toward this effort. A typical Ad Council campaign results in an estimated $28 million per year in donated media from approximately 28,000 media outlets that print or air the public service announcements at no charge.

The bill has three other major areas of underage drinking policy development. The measure would provide $2 million to create an Interagency Coordinating Committee to coordinate the efforts and expertise of various federal agencies to combat underage drinking. It would also mandate an annual report to Congress on these federal efforts to prevent underage drinking and require an annual report card from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on efforts to combat underage drinking at the state level.

STOP would provide $5 million in enhancement grants to the Drug Free Communities program to address the problem of underage drinking. In addition, a new program would be funded at $5 million annually to provide competitive grants to states, non-profits, and institutions of higher education to create statewide coalitions to prevent underage drinking and alcohol abuse by university students.

Finally, the bill would provide $6 million to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase research and data collection on underage drinking. This information would include the types and brands of alcohol that kids use and the short- and long-term impact of underage drinking upon adolescent brain development.

The measure has been endorsed by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and MADD. MADD presented Congressman Wamp with its 2004 Congressional Excellence Award for his work in preventing drunk driving.


Sentencing Postponed For Former Murray County Magistrate Convicted Of Sex And Corruption Charges

The sentencing has been delayed for the former Murray County chief magistrate who was found guilty on all six sex and corruption counts that he faced. Judge Harold Murphy said in a written opinion that it would be prudent for him to first rule on a motion for a new trial that has been filed by the attorney for Bryant Cochran. The sentencing had been set for Feb. 20. No ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLEN, PERCY 918 OAK STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37406 19 Chattanooga POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA ALLEN, PORTER SCOTT 3622 ALTAMIRA DR CHATTANOOGA, 37412 19 Chattanooga DRIVING ON ROADWAYS LANED FOR TRAFFIC, VIOLATION FAILURE TO REPORT ACCIDENT LEAVING SCENE OF ACCIDENT W/DAMAGE TO VEHICLE BEAM, ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed - And Response

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Magic Bank Account

As the month of January is almost out the door, I am opening my email today to share a marvelous story that legend has it was printed on piece of paper found in Bear Bryant’s wallet when he died in 1983. While I don’t know that the famed Alabama football coach had this lesson in his wallet, chances are he might have if he’d read it. * * * THE BANK ACCOUNT & RULES Imagine ... (click for more)

Mercer Edges UTC Men in OT 75-72

A free throw. A turnover. The simple bounce of a ball one way or the other. The Chattanooga Mocs just ended up on the losing end of a 75-72 overtime decision at Mercer. The Mocs fall to 14-8, 7- 2 in the Southern Conference, while the Bears improve to 12-10, also 7-2 tied for second a game behind Wofford. Casey Jones had career highs with 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Greg ... (click for more)

UTC Wrestlers Host Davidson Today at Noon

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team hosts Davidson in Southern Conference action today at noon at Maclellan Gym. UTC is sitting in first place in the Southern Conference with a 4-0 league record.  Chattanooga has only lost six individual matches in league duals and has outscored its last three SoCon opponents 114-6.  UTC defeated The Citadel ... (click for more)