Odessa authorities cracking down on underage drinking

Odessa authorities cracking down on underage drinking
Underage drinking (Source: KWES).
Underage drinking (Source: KWES).

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Summer is right around the corner and many high school students will be graduating next week. Odessa Police will be teaming up with other law enforcement agencies to crack down on underage drinking at graduation parties.

"We respond to overdoses pretty much on a daily basis," said Cpl. Steve LeSueur with the Odessa Police Department.

Police say underage drinking and drug usage has become a major issue with teens.

"It is an issue, especially when we do have graduation nights and also other big weekends throughout the year," said LeSueur.

Big events, like the upcoming graduation for Permian and Odessa High school students. Odessa police also held an operation on Halloween weekend when the two rival schools had a football game.

"It's a big problem, at least whenever I was there, it was a pretty bad problem. I don't know how it is now, I'm pretty sure it's worse, but it's crazy," said Arturo Melendez, a former OHS student.

Now that graduation season is in full effect, law enforcement agencies are teaming up to put a stop to the illegal activity.

"It's really hard to stop 1,000 kids from drinking, especially during graduation," said Melendez.

Odessa Police will be working with ECISD and UTPB Police, as well as the Ector County Sheriff's Department.

There will be additional officers on patrol on June 3 through June 5 looking for parties that have gotten out of hand to prevent the tragedies that often come with underage drinking.
 
"One life is too many. If a teenager dies as a result of drinking, just one is too many," said LeSueur.

As for advice for underage drinkers? Many say the risk of hurting yourself or others is just not worth it.

"Just realize you have a family to go home to. You have people that care about you," said Melendez

If you have any information about underage drinking or drug usage going on, you can call Odessa Crime Stoppers at (432)-333-TIPS. If your tip leads to a citation, you could get a cash reward.
  
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