听力原文： Combating Underage Drinking
More young people drink alcohol than use other drugs or smoke tobacco, and underage drinking costs the nation an estimated $53 billion annually in losses stemming from traffic fatalities, violent crime, and other behaviors that threaten the well-being of America's youth. Curbing underage drinking is an uphill battle because alcohol is legal and readily available to adults. To tackle the problem, a new report from the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies offers a comprehensive strategy that requires a deep, shared commitment from many institutions and individuals, including alcohol manufacturers and retail businesses, the entertainment industry, and parents and other adults in local communities.
"All segments of U.S. society should address underage drinking in a serious, coordinated, and sustained manner," said Richard J. Bonnie, John S. Battle Professor of Law and director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and chair of the committee that wrote the report. "We have to find effective ways to protect our nation's youth while we respect the interests of responsible adult consumers of alcohol. The recommendations in this report attempt to strike the right balance." The congressionally man dated study lays out a strategy that includes heightened adult supervision of children's behavior. and calls upon the alcohol and entertainment industries to take stronger steps to shield young people from unsuitable messages about alcohol consumption. Taken as a whole, the plan would have a considerable impact, the committee said, adding that the strategy should be subject to ongoing refinement.
Most adults express concern about underage drinking and voice support for public policies to curb it. Yet surveys show that youth often obtain alcohol from adults. Studies also show that many parents underestimate both the extent of the problem and their own children's alcohol consumption habits.
States and localities should use a wide range of educational and enforcement measures to boost compliance with laws that prohibit selling or providing alcohol to children, adolescents, and young adults under the legal drinking age of 21. The aim is to deter adults and youths alike, the report says. Among the recommended measures, steps are increasing the frequency of compliance checks, in which authorities monitor whether businesses are obeying minimum-drinking age laws and levy fines when necessary, and requiring all sellers and servers of alcohol to complete state-approved training as a condition of employment. Likewise, the federal government should require states to achieve specified rates of retailer compliance with youth-access laws as a condition of receiving federal funds. And states should enhance efforts to prevent and detect the use of false identification by minors who want to purchase alcohol—for example, by issuing drivers' licenses and state ID cards that can be electronically scanned.
In addition, states that allow Internet sales and home delivery of alcohol should adopt regulations that require customers to sign statements verifying their identity and age at the time of delivery. At the local level, police, working with community leaders, should create policies for detecting and shutting down underage drinking parties, the report says. Likewise, the federal government should fund and actively support the development of a national media campaign to encourage parents and other adults to take steps in their own households and neighborhoods to discourage underage drinking. Officials should carefully craft this activity to make sure that it would reach a diverse audience, the report says.