Chloe Calderon has made it her mission to make it as difficult as possible for teens to get their hands on alcohol.
ROYAL PALM BEACH — Chloe Calderon is on a mission.
The 17-year-old Royal Palm Beach High School senior wants to make it more difficult for her peers to get their hands on alcohol. And she recently made a pitch to the village council for new rules that could help her meet that goal.
Cutting underage drinking rates has been a passion for Calderon since she began volunteering for the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition in the summer before she started high school.
“I got involved for the community service hours,” she said, adding that she soon realized “how important this is.”
The “point-of-purchase ordinance” pitched by Calderon to the council last month would require establishments that sell or serve alcohol to post notices reminding patrons of Florida’s underage-drinking laws.
Restaurants, bars and liquor stores in Royal Palm Beach would need to have at least one 8.5-by-11-inch sign with at least 30-point type.
The notice would need to include the information that it is illegal to buy alcohol if you are under age 21, and it is illegal to sell or dispense alcohol to people under age 21. The sign also would need to list the penalties for breaking the law, along with a telephone number to report any violations.
The coalition already has successfully pitched the ordinance in Greenacres, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and unincorporated Palm Beach County, Calderon said.
“I feel like I’m protecting younger kids,” she said.
Younger kids like her brother, who just started his freshman year at Royal Palm Beach High.
She has found that most people trying to illegally buy alcohol are under age 18.
“They’re the ones who are trying to sneak around,” Calderon said.
Through her work with the coalition, Calderon said she’s developed a “reputation for being proactive.”
“My friend told me, ’I was out with my friend and he offered me a drink, and I heard you nagging me so I turned him down,’” she said, laughing. “That’s the best I could hope for.”
Calderon said she hopes the village council will seriously consider implementing the rules.
“This helps business owners retrain staff to do the right thing and protect my friends,” she told the council.