POMPTON PLAINS — Forty Pequannock Township High School students from three clubs placed 500 pinwheels across the front lawn of the school Thursday — a day before the homecoming football game — to spread awareness about the dangers of underage drinking.
The Pinwheels Prevention Project, new to Morris County, is designed to visually represent the 5,000 Americans under the age of 21 who die as a result of drinking each year.
“Each pinwheel represents 10 deaths due to underage drinking,” said Phyllis Minicuci, project coordinator for the Pequannock Township Coalition. “It’s a very powerful statement and I’m proud of the students. They stepped up and did a terrific job.”
The statistic, from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, breaks down grimly: 1,900 lives are lost in motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 in homicides, 300 from suicides, and hundreds more from injuries caused by drownings, falls and burns.
Serving alcohol to a minor is already a disorderly person’s offense in New Jersey, however Pequannock has an additional ordinance making it a violation for youth to possess or consume alcohol on private property, if their parent has not given permission and is not present. Any person found guilty of this ordinance will be subject to fines, suspensions of driving, among other consequences.
Additionally, by supplying alcohol to underage youth, you risk their lives as well.
Take a stand with Pequannock and don’t host underage drinking!