AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Investigators with the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) found underage college students in possession of alcohol at liquor stores in several communities, including Amherst and Westfield.

According to the State Treasurer’s office, the Operation Safe Campus program led by the ABCC resulted in the following findings between Labor Day weekend and Halloween:

  • 135 minors in possession or transporting alcoholic beverages
  • 16 adults procuring alcohol for underage individuals
  • 56 students in possession of false identification at liquor stores

The liquor stores were located in Boston, Amherst, North Andover, Salem, Worcester and Westfield. A total of 72 cases of beer and 68 bottles of alcohol were confiscated during the investigations.

During the same period, investigators found bars in Boston, Brookline, Somerville and Worcester had allowed people under the age of 21 to have alcoholic beverages on the premises.

State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, who oversees the ABCC, stated, “We want to educate and make sure that underage people are aware that drinking can have devastating consequences upon them and those they love.”

“The safety of all Massachusetts students is of the utmost importance and by implementing Operation Safe Campus we are supporting that priority and maintaining safer campuses,” said Jean Lorizio, chairperson of the ABCC.

Most students caught were, on average, 19 years old and had a false out-of-state license. According to ABCC, most parents are unaware that their children are involved in the use of alcohol and that talking with them is the best way to address underage drinking.

Three teens die from drinking and driving every day. In one year, roughly 97,000 students between 18 and 24 report experiencing sexual assault or rape while alcohol is involved. In addition, alcohol intoxication has been involved in 47 percent of homicides and 23 percent of suicides involving a person under the age of 21.

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