Oklahoma's First Lady Kim Henry has signed on with the Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free. The group includes the spouses of governors and is aimed at preventing childhood drinking during the ages of 9 to 15.

Mrs. Henry, a former high school teacher and mother of three, said she knew first-hand the damage caused by early access to alcohol. "Alcohol can rob children of those opportunities and limit their futures," she said in a press release this week. "Each and every one of us has a responsibility to help children avoid alcohol and to help them on the road to safe, healthy and long lives."

Even though it's illegal for minors to possess alcohol, studies report more than half of Oklahoma's high school students have consumed alcohol. Two-thirds of them have participated in binge drinking. Alcohol is a factor in the four leading causes of death among persons age 10 to 24.

One legislative initiative being pushed this year by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy is the creation of the Prevention of Youth Access to Alcohol Act to suspend driving privileges for minors in possession of alcohol. It does seem odd that students get suspended from school for possessing alcohol but don't lose those precious driving privileges.

The child advocacy group also wants to increase fines and penalties for adults who provide alcohol to minors. Older siblings and friends might think twice about providing alcohol to minors if they knew hefty fines and jail time awaited them.

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