Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $624,310)
This program seeks to reduce the availability of alcoholic beverages to and the consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons serving in the U.S. Air Force and/or the U.S. Marine Corps who are younger than 21 years old. The initiative provides funds to local civilian communities to implement research-based and promising practices to enforce underage drinking laws and prevent underage service personnel from consuming alcohol in collaboration with active duty bases. This program is authorized by the Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-55; 125 Stat. 552, 617.
Joint Base Charleston, a primarily Air Force base in Charleston County, S.C., experiences some level of threat to the safety of its military personnel and community members, in addition to a detrimental effect on military readiness, as a result of drinking by underage airmen. Project Safety Through Alcohol Responsibility (Project STAR) will take a unique base-and-community collaborative, data-driven approach to reducing underage alcohol consumption and high-risk drinking that can lead to disciplinary issues, unintentional injuries, and traffic injuries. On-base activities (e.g., proactive base enforcement, alcohol-free events, 0-0-1-3 alcohol responsibility campaign) will be coupled with community-based strategies such as compliance checks, DUI checkpoints, and 'tavern agreements' to strengthen community/retailer partnerships. These strategies, based on research and/or evidence-based principles, will impact segments of Charleston County (population 350,209) but will primarily be targeted toward the underage personnel within the 8,257 active-duty personnel among the base population of 79,000. Beyond the reduced negative incidences, the long-term impact of the project will be a solid strategic plan and sustainable relationships between the base, community partners, and local law enforcement. Data will be tracked primarily through existing base systems after adjustments are made to track underage drinking specifically and repackage reporting categories to capture underage events.