KCUR News
6:49 pm
Thu May 14, 2009

City May Get Tough On Underage Drinking

Kansas City, MO – Concerns about underage drinking have prompted the Kansas City city council to consider redefining the term "minor in possession."

Kansas City, Missouri has an ordinance prohibiting persons under 21 from "possessing" alchohol, which now means police must see a young person with a container of the beverage.

But substance abuse specialist Ryan McIlheney* says kids are quick to see a loophole that avoids a lot of arrests: "When they see the cops coming and see the flashing red light, they quickly down the alcohol and then throw away the bottle so they are no longer in "possession."

Substance abuse groups and the police would change the ordinance so that a blood alcohol level as low as two one-hundredths of a percent would be possession. The Public Safety and Neighborhoods committee will study the proposal over the next two weeks before making a recommendation the the full council.