TULSA - Teen drinking kills people, leads to crime, and cost taxpayers in Oklahoma an estimated 831-million dollars in 2010 alone.
While the problem persists as it has for years, the state's Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission (ABLE) has fewer resources with which to combat it.
"Our budget has been cut 25 percent in three years," Special Agent in Charge Kent James told KRMG Monday.
"Our office currently covers 18 counties in northeastern Oklahoma," he said. "We have roughly 11-hundred licensees in our 18 counties, and we have five field agents right now trying to cover that."
Clearly, manpower's at a premium. That's why ABLE is asking for the public's help to identify where teen drinking is taking place, so they can respond.
Gone are the days when the police would pour the booze onto the ground and simply disperse the party.
Now, they hold the kids and have parents come to get them. That prevents kids from ending up behind the wheel while still intoxicated.
Agents told KRMG that parents simply aren't doing the kids any favors by hosting parties where alcohol's available.
Even if they spend the night, the kids often drink into the small hours and then get up and drive home while still under the influence.
They're also more prone to drink when adults aren't around, the agents said, after they've been exposed to alcohol.
It is now a felony in Oklahoma to serve teens in a private residence if an injury results.
And, in the last two years, it has become a misdemeanor crime to simply play host to the party, regardless of whether anyone even leaves the home.