BC Liquor Stores are reminding the public to not buy alcohol for minors as graduation season approaches. (Black Press files)

BC Liquor urges public to not buy alcohol for minors

As graduation season quickly approaches, the BC Liquor Distribution Branch is urging the public to refrain from buying alcohol for minors.

Per a news release issued by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, one of the most exciting times of the year for graduating students does not mean that adults can carelessly dish out alcohol to those under the age of 19.

“Drinking can be harmful for minors in many ways,” said Michael Procopio, who oversees 197 BC Liquor Stores in his role as executive director of retail operations for the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB). “Our goal is to remind our customers about the damage that can be done by purchasing liquor for minors and that anyone doing so can face hefty fines.”

This release comes after BC Liquor Stores customers managed to raise more than $275,000 as part of their annual Support Dry Grad campaign.

According to a separate news release issued by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, the campaign, which is organized by students, parents and schools, ran over the course of March and is part of an effort to ensure that British Columbian Grade 12 students are able to enjoy safe, alcohol-free graduation celebrations come June.

“We are thrilled at the level of support BC Liquor Stores’ customers have shown for this year’s Support Dry Grad campaign,” said LDB general manager and CEO Blain Lawson. “The response clearly demonstrates the level of commitment from our customers and employees to keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors and encouraging them to participate in safe, fun and memorable graduation celebrations.”

All the donations received during the campaign go to the school district in which the BC Liquor Store is located and then distributed to public high schools and independent schools that are planning alcohol-free graduation activities and celebrations, according to the release.

Although it is prohibited to provide a minor with liquor, there are some notable exceptions. Parents and guardians are able to give liquor to a minor as long as it is safely monitored and in a residence and consumed within the same residence. Wine given during a religious ceremony is also permitted.

Both the LDB and British Columbia police are issuing caution and pleading for preparation from parents and youths as grad season ramps up this coming month.

“Police advise youths and their parents to plan ahead about how teens will be getting to and from celebrations, and we mean all parties – including unsanctioned events,” said Delta Police Department Chief Neil Dubord, who is head of the Traffic Safety Committee for the BC Association of Chiefs of Police. “This is a time of life filled with great excitement. Please make sure your teen doesn’t have to figure out that night if they’re sober enough to drive, or if they should get in a car with someone who may have been drinking and/or doing drugs. We want everyone home safe at the end of the night.”

Per HealthLinkBC, the leading cause of death for young people is car crashes related to alcohol misuse.

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