Campaign Spreads Word On Responsible Drinking - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Campaign Spreads Word On Responsible Drinking

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Underage drinking is a serious problem in Montana. According to a study by the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center, about 44,000 under-aged people drink each year in the Treasure State.

"He went to a house party, and was under-aged," said Natasha Potratz. "The people he was drinking with didn't stop him from drinking."

That was the beginning of a tragic ending for Natasha's friend.

"He drove home, and flipped his car, and he died," said Natasha.

Natasha works with the Downtown Billings Association, which organizes the well-known Alive After Five event in Downtown Billings during the summer months. A sponsor at Thursday's event is sending an important message about alcohol.

"Make sure anyone they're drinking with is 21 and older," said Tess Besaw with the Be Your Own Bouncer (BYOB) campaign.

"When you throw a house party, don't serve under-aged drinkers. Don't let them go drive. That's not doing anybody any good," said Natasha.

The campaign's purpose is simple: to promote responsible drinking for adults, and trying to prevent drinking for those under 21.

"It's not -not- OK that you party, it's just doing it responsibly," said Tess. "We aren't trying to tell people they can't drink, but keep it responsible, and keep it 21 and up."

Preventing minors from drinking can also save people from legal troubles. Under Montana law, anyone 18 or over can be charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child if they serve or encourage a person under 18 to drink alcohol. Tess said she eventually hope to spread the message to a much bigger audience.

"We're looking at growing this, hopefully, within our community, and then maybe taking into the state, and further out," said Tess.

"They're hoping to really reach a younger audience. High schoolers, early college. I think they're going really viral. They are going on Social Media. I think it will make an impact," said Natasha.