Party breakup training

Law enforcement officers break up a staged party during alcohol laws and compliance training Wednesday. (Staff Photo by BILLY HEFTON)

Nearly 40 members of law enforcement and state agencies practiced how to break up parties during training Wednesday in Enid.

The Alcohol Laws and Compliance Training (also called 2M2L or Too Much To Lose) was hosted this week by Alcoholic Beverages Law Enforcement Commission, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and PreventionWorkz.

The day-long training included a review of state alcohol laws, conducting compliance checks, a session on fake or altered identification and how to disperse parties.

The day ended with the officers meeting up with 20 volunteers posing as teens or social hosts of underage drinking parties.

The officers broke into several groups, taking turns dispersing partygoers and identifying hosts.

“I think it went really well,” PreventionWorkz Prevention Specialist Meri Spurlock said.

She and ABLE Senior Agent Gina Pratt briefed volunteers before the exercise with the officers.

“A while back, law enforcement, they thought that everyone could pour the beer out and get home safely,” Spurlock said. “Now, it’s such a problem young people have lost their lives.”

Pratt told the volunteers how to behave during the fake parties, and enlisted several from each group to special tasks.

“I need a few to pretend to be passed out and not move at all,” Pratt explained. “I want them to realize they have to call EMSA because there is a problem.”

Spurlock said in addition to 32 law enforcement officers, three members of Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services attended the training, as did a local assistant district attorney.

Officers attending included those from Enid Police Department, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, Oklahoma State University Police Department, ABLE Commission, Kingfisher County Sheriff’s Office, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Fairview Police Department and Canton Police Department.

Every two years, surveys are conducted with teens from across the state concerning the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

The most recent data taken from the 2012 survey shows more teens are binge drinking.

The statistics show 52 percent of those surveyed reported drinking 10 or more drinks in a row.

Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks over a two-hour period for women, or five or more drinks in a two-hour period for men. Almost half of kids drink five to nine drinks, a quarter have 10 to 15 and another quarter have 15-plus drinks.

Oklahoma’s social host law puts a shared responsibility for underage drinking on the person providing the location for the gathering.

“So many people are willing to buy alcohol for young people,” Spurlock said.

Adults or minors can be cited and fined under state law. A first offense is punishable by a fine of up to $500.

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