CAST cracking down on drinking

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Summertime is in full swing and police say the number of underage drinking cases will start to spike.

One organization that is trying to combat that is the CAST Coalition, or Community Action for a Safer Tomorrow. The group consists of local and state law enforcement officials that want to enact change through enforcement and education.

The group warns teens that a single drink could result in arrest, the loss of one's driver's license, heavy fines, and much more.

CAST Chairman and Horry County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Jeff Benton also want adults to know that they are just as responsible as the minors.

"You cannot supply alcohol to a minor or you will be charged with the delinquency of that minor; with the CAST Coalition there's zero tolerance on that," said Benton.

Benton says that officers are often looking for parties and social media is one way they can often find them. They also receive calls from anonymous citizens who report the underage drinking themselves.

The CAST Coalition isn't just limited to underage drinking. They will crack down on people driving under the influence as well.

The organization plans to combat this year's high DUI arrest rate with additional safety checkpoints and saturation patrols around the county. Officers will also be looking for signs of drivers not wearing seatbelts or texting while driving.

One thing that Sergeant Benton warns everyone is that although you may feel great while drinking, if you step behind that car your life will plummet to rock bottom.

"The driver's license, the fine, the chance you get in a wreck or hurt somebody else, and the attorney fees all outweigh anything good that can come from drinking and driving," said Benton. "The smart things you can do are simply stay put and if you are drinking alcohol, stay where you are or get a cab."

Benton asks that if you do end up at a checkpoint, you can make the process much easier on yourself and the officers. He says to have your license and registration ready when you pull up to an officer.

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