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Date last updated: Thursday, April 25, 15:17 PST

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Mass. police get grant for effort to combat teen drinking

By Lane Lambert
The Patriot Ledger

QUINCY, Mass. — With the help of a federal grant, Quincy police will revive a campaign to combat underage drinking.

Quincy will get $10,000 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Department of Justice. The city and 24 other Massachusetts communities were chosen to receive one of the grants.

Capt. John Dougan said the grant will pay for a "Cops in Shops" program, in which plainclothes officers pose as clerks to watch for minors trying to buy beer, wine or liquor by presenting fake IDs, and for adults buying alcohol for minors.

The money was awarded by the state Executive Office of Public Safety. It will also pay for stings and compliance checks at bars and restaurants.

Dougan said the campaign will begin in May and last through the summer.

"Teens and parents need to be reminded that underage drinking is not a game," he said. "It's deadly serious."
In 2010, one of every four teenagers killed in car crashes in the U.S. had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

In Massachusetts, 15 the of 114 people killed in drunken-driving accidents were teenagers. That same year, 66 teens were arrested in Massachusetts for drunken driving, while 748 were charged with violating alcohol laws.

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