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Minors could lose their liceses for up to four years if they are caught drinking.

April 20, 2005
By: Ian Roth
State Capital Bureau
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It's 'last call' for Missouri's youth as the Senate moves closer to adopting a Bill that creates tighter laws and punishments for underage drinking.

Ian Roth tells us more from the state capitol.

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The bill would make it impossible for minors under age 16 who are caught drinking to get a drivers' license until age 18.

The bill allows for suspension of drivers' licenses for up to two years the first time a minor is caught possessing or drinking alcohol.

It also allows for a four year suspension if a minor is caught drinking a second time.

The bill also establishes a penalty of up to a year in prison for parents who serve to minors and requires all public schools to establish underage drinking policies with penalties to be issued in school.

While some say they fear the proposed increase in penalties for drinking crimes may be too harsh, the bill's sponsor, Michael Gibbons of St. Louis County, says he thinks the bill needs to be adopted to combat a serious problem.

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Contents: "It's a serious problem. Anybody who has kids that age know it's around. And you hope your kids can stay away from it. And probably, more often than not, kids do. But the 33 or 40 percent that are getting involved, are getting involved in a way that is very dangerous."

The bill was able to cross party lines gaining strong support from both Democrats and Republicans.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Ian Roth.