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Effort Targets Underage Drinking (Virginia)

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49. Effort Targets Underage Drinking (Virginia)

In Rich
September 6, 2007

Henrico County police are dubbing programs targeting underage drinking "a huge success" and yesterday announced a new initiative called Operation SUDS, Stop Underage Drinking and Sales.

"If we can save even one young life, then all the effort is worthwhile," Police Chief Henry W. Stanley Jr. said in a statement.

Programs designed to deter driving under the influence -- including Henrico's Party Crashers -- got under way in September 2006 and have resulted in more than 400 charges of underage possession or consumption in Henrico. The programs have resulted in more than 1,000 total arrests, Stanley said.

Stanley pointed out that throughout the prom season, spring break, beach week and graduation, no lives were lost in the county that could be linked to underage drinking.

The same day Operation SUDS was kicked off, though, Henrico police announced the arrest of an off-duty state trooper, Mark L. James, who tested at more than twice the legal limit of alcohol after he was involved in a three-vehicle accident yesterday morning on Skipwith Road.

James was driving his personal vehicle, police said.

Stanley said the new initiative will involve local law-enforcement agencies in the region as well as state police and the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

An anonymous tip line will remain in operation 24 hours a day: (804) 614-2923.


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