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Daily Talker: Decriminalizing Underage Drinking

Duxbury is considering a controversial plan to change the way it polices and prosecutes underage drinking. While the town wants to enforce laws, it also wants to keep kids out of the court systems. State law now calls for police to arrest or file a criminal complaint against minors in possession of alcohol. Both options end up on the young offenders' record. That means colleges and prospective employers will see it down the road. The proposed bylaw, backed by the police chief, would give officers another option. They can fine the minors caught with alcohol. First-time offenders would get a $150 fine and repeat offenders would get a $300 fine. Police would still notify the drinkers' parents and school. Some parents think this is a great idea. John Lovett told WBZ, "I think it's an important opportunity to teach kids a lesson. Kids do silly things some times." Another parent, Kelly Ragona, agreed saying, "I don't think that should follow you for the rest of your life if you're that young." But police don't want anyone to think they're turning a blind eye. They believe the bylaw still packs enough punishment to deter underage drinking. The bylaw will be debated at a town meeting on Saturday.

What do you think? Do you like this plan? Do you think it will work to battle or deter underage drinking?

Leave your comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter using #WBZTalker.

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