Virginia ABC awards $83K in grants to deter underage drinking

(The Center Square) – More than $83,000 worth of grants will go toward programs designed to reduce underage drinking and high risk drinking in Virginia, according to an announcement from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.

ABC is awarding the grants to 10 projects in the commonwealth through its Education and Prevention grant program. The grants will fund campaigns geared toward preventing driving under the influence and alcohol prevention curriculum for high school students, among other things.

“It is the mission of Virginia ABC’s Education and Prevention Division to eliminate underage and high-risk drinking by building the capacity of communities to educate individuals and prevent alcohol misuse,” Virginia ABC Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill said in a statement. “The financial support and partnership opportunity this grant program provides is one of the many ways we execute on that mission. We look forward to working with these grantees to positively impact the communities in which they work."

The funding includes $10,000 to the Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board for the Youth Above the Influence Project, which is meant to target those aged 15-20, their parents and retailers to increase awareness of the consequences of drunk driving. Another $10,000 will go to Substance Abuse Free Environment (SAFE), Inc. which is a Chesterfield-based group that partners with law enforcement to check alcohol and vaping compliance at stores.

Nearly $10,000 will be spent on Virginia Commonwealth University Recreation and Well-Being, which provides alcohol-free, late-night recreational activities for students. Another $10,000 will go toward the Substance Abuse Taskforce in Rural Appalachia, which includes includes underage alcohol and tobacco sales and compliance checks and a media campaign.

Other funding includes the Planning District 1 Behavioral Health Services, the Page Alliance for Community Action and the James Madison University (JMU) Recreation Department.

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