A 22-member task force will try to figure out how to manage underage drinking on college campuses.
The bill to create a Task Force on Underage Drinking in Higher Education was signed into law Saturday by acting Gov. Stephen Sweeney. It's been given six months to come up with recommendations.
The task for will include pretty much everyone with a stake in the issue, including highway safety officials and addiction services workers, liquor store and bar owners, college officials and students.
The bill grew out of national concerns by college presidents about high rates of binge drinking and alcohol poisoning on college campuses. There has even been discussion of lowering the drinking age back to 18 to try to teach young people to drink more responsibly rather than sneaking around and drinking themselves into a stupor.
Gov. Jon S. Corzine already signed a law in October that would provide immunity from prosecution for underage drinkers who call 911 to get medical help for another underage drinker as long as they give their names to the operator and remain on the scene until help arrives. A Rutgers student had told Legislators that his failure to get help for a friend led to his death.
Obviously the issue is controversial. But when kids are drinking themselves all the way to the emergency room adults have to look at the reality that exists, not the one they wish for.