For Immediate Release - August 24, 2011

DA Blodgett Enlists National Experts to Address Underage Drinking

Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett has called upon national experts to help address the issue of underage drinking at a Parent Leadership Event, and at his Policymakers’ Breakfast next month.   

Dr. Aaron White is the Program Director of Underage and College Drinking Prevention Research at the National Institute of Alcohol, and is the author of “Keeping Adolescence Healthy.”  Boston Attorney Richard Campbell is in private practice, and presents nationally on the topic of social host liability.   

On Monday, September 26, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Peabody Marriott at 8A Centennial Drive, Dr. White and Attorney Campbell will be the speakers at “A Parent Leadership Event.”  They will discuss the latest research on the effects of alcohol on the adolescent brain, and outline the legal consequences of the social host liability law. 

District Attorney Blodgett is inviting each middle and high school in the county to send representatives from their Parent Teacher Organizations, who will be encouraged to share this information with all parents in their school districts.  Although there is no cost for this event, space is limited so pre-registration is required.

District Attorney Blodgett’s Policymakers’ Breakfast will take place on Tuesday, September 27, from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m., also at the Peabody Marriott.  Attorney Campbell will present on the legal consequences of social host liability and furnishing alcohol to minors, and Dr. White will speak on the effects of alcohol on the adolescent brain. These experts will be joined by Jack Claypoole, the Administrator of Drug Free Communities, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President of the United States. Mr. Claypoole will offer a national perspective on this serious issue with legislators, educators, law enforcement officials and community leaders.

“In the time that I have been District Attorney, the scientific research on the harmful effects of alcohol on adolescent brain development has advanced dramatically.  This new information, along with what we already know about the higher incidences of death, and sexual and physical assaults among young people who drink versus those who do not, makes a compelling case that underage drinking is a big deal and must be taken seriously,” said District Attorney Blodgett.

Although there is no cost to attend the morning event, which is by invitation only, space is limited so reservations are required.  Please contact Ruth Budelmann, Mariellen Fidrych or Meghan Meagher of the Essex District Attorney’s Office at 978-745-6610, for more information.

Both events are funded by a grant from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Highway Safety Division.