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Underage drinking in Denver: Sweet 16 and never been blitzed

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The Star Bar, at 2137 Larimer Street, still hasn't reopened after it was busted for serving underage drinkers; after getting popped for its fourth underage violation in as many years, the Border, a University of Denver institution at 2014 South University, shut down altogether last fall. (It reopened under new ownership six weeks ago.)

The moral: Underage drinking can be hazardous -- both for the minors, and for the bars that serve them. So as a public service, we're reproducing the following announcement from the Denver Police Department:

Enforcement of Underage Drinking Laws

Starting in March 2010, the Denver Police Department will be conducting operations targeted at underage drinking. The "Enforcement of Underage Drinking Laws" grant was awarded by the Liquor Enforcement Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue to the Denver Police Department and the Denver Office of Drug Strategy. The grant funds both uniformed and undercover operations with the specific goal of enforcing underage drinking laws. Officers will be patrolling parking lots at liquor establishments, high school and college sporting events, concerts and special events. They will also be conducting age compliance checks at clubs, bars, and liquor stores. Not only will citations be given to minors (anyone under 21) in possession of alcohol but adults who procure or sell to minors will be cited as well. The Denver Police Department is partnering with the Denver Office of Drug Strategy, State Liquor Enforcement teams, and the Denver Office of Excise and License to address the problem of underage drinking.

Liquor establishments are asked to review their sales procedures to ensure that no minors are put at risk because of lax policies. Parents are urged to talk to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking and the potential affects it can have on scholarship eligibility, employment and driving privileges in the State of Colorado. Lastly, young people under 21 years of age are encouraged to find positive alternatives to drinking alcohol. It's OK to wait to drink.

And in the meantime, the abstemious young people will be doing older drinkers a favor, by making sure more bars stay open.

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