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State Highway Safety Showcase

Project Extra Mile - Underage Drinking Prevention Network

Nebraska Office of Highway Safety

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The Project Extra Mile (PEM) Community Coalition Network effort is the ongoing project born as a pilot program through a cooperative initiative of NHTSA and GHSA. The mission of PEM is “to create a community consensus that clearly states that underage drinking is illegal, unhealthy, and unacceptable.”

PEM is a network of community coalitions working in several identified counties in Nebraska. Community coalitions are open to all and include representatives from public health, schools, youth, enforcement, faith organizations, safety advocacy, prosecutors and other elected officials. Utilizing environmental strategies, the coalitions desire is to make their community safer for young people through the prevention of underage drinking. 

The PEM coalitions are effective in:

PEM has also developed and implemented statewide media campaigns that target underage drinking issues.  In addition to targeting the youth population, one of the most critical efforts is to target the adults who sell or provide alcohol to underage youth. 

Since PEM was established, they have been instrumental in affecting many significant public policy changes targeting underage drinking. The following are just a few of the many pieces of legislation, ordinances, and administrative procedures that have been adopted or changed as a result of strong efforts by the community coalitions:

Prior to PEM, alcohol license compliance checks in Nebraska were rare and very infrequent, if conducted at all.  Some of the counties had never conducted any compliance checks. With training support from PEM and coalition assistance, thousands of licensees are faced with compliance check operations. Underage alcohol large party enforcements are much more commonplace and source investigation is emphasized in all jurisdictions.

PEM recently piloted an underage enforcement “Train the Trainer” course to train state law enforcement personnel to conduct training for special underage enforcement procedures and practices. These include compliance checks, party patrols, underage saturation patrols, shoulder tap operations and alcohol source investigation techniques.

The Omaha metro area of PEM was recently selected as one of two national communities to pilot an NHTSA underage enforcement mobilization strategy. This underage initiative is to design a similar underage enforcement/media mobilization to the “Click It or Ticket” and “Drunk Driving Over the Limit, Under Arrest” national NHTSA mobilizations.

The PEM Community Coalition organization has been recognized with awards from the National Commission on Drunk Driving, NHTSA, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Public Health Association of Nebraska, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the National Safety Council – Greater Omaha Chapter.

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