EVANGELINE PARISH, La. (KLFY) — The Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office is working to reduce and prevent underage drinking.

Sheriff Charles Guillory says shortly after taking office in 2020, he visited every store and business that sells alcohol and says the point of the trip was to remind local business owners of the laws when it comes to properly checking IDs.

He says underage drinking has become a problem throughout the state and that 60-65% of minors drink before the age of 21.

Those statistics, Guillory says, helped him to launch an underage drinking detail from his office and campaign inside the parish.

The operations are funded through an $8K grant where deputies will volunteer their time to attend community events where alcohol will be served.

He says if they catch a minor with alcohol the minor is brought to the command post on site where the drink is confiscated and parents and or guardians are called.

The minor is not cited, Guillory said.

“We are trying to curtail alcohol consumption for juveniles to save lives.”

He said statistics show that youths that drink are more likely to be victims of violent crime, to be in alcohol related traffic crashes and to have serious school related problems.