A community coalition of concerned Santa Monica adults and young people has joined the Santa Monica Police Department to oppose under-age drinking.

“Alcohol use by anyone under age 21 is unacceptable,” the group says.

Santa Monica Against Underage Drinking was formed after a a grant for the project was funded by the Enforcing Under-age Drinking Laws Community Trials Initiative.

The City of Santa Monica is one of 36 cities selected to participate. The coalition’s goal is to work to improve the environment where students typically make decisions about under-age drinking.

Santa Monica Police Chief James T. Butts, Jr., warns: “Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among adolescents. Alcohol-related collisions are the leading cause of death in the 15-to-24-year age group.”

“Under-age drinking costs in California alone are $6.5 billion per year,” he said.

The coalition seeks to reduce under-age drinking, provide young people with safe, healthy and fun alternatives to alcohol, nurture youth leadership, increase awareness and provide education on implementing policies that reduce access to alcohol.

“We urge our young people, parents, business and religious leaders, educators, government officials, medical professionals and anyone interested in this issue to join us in working to keep our youths safe and sober,” said Butts.

Information, Santa Monica Police Department, (310) 458-2201 ext. 4853.