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Andrea McCarren's Underage Drinking Story Gaining Media Attention

11:43 PM, Feb 15, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Our series of reports on underage drinking and drug use, Wednesday, got the attention of the Washington Post and the Huffington Post.

This front page Style Section mentions our Andrea McCarren's reporting on what appears to be rampant underage alcohol sales at the Town Square Market in Northwest. The Post also mentions Andrea's coverage of police busting an underage drinking party in Bethesda last December.

 

Ninety-nine percent of the feedback we've received because of Andrea's reporting has been positive.  We've heard from schools, medical personnel, police, parents and even teenagers. 

"We appreciate all of them.  But there is one note that really means a lot. I received it this [Wednesday] morning," McCarren said.

It's from a 17 year old local high school student, who is brave enough to not drink, despite peer pressure.  

It reads:

"Please don't back down in face of threats. This is so rare that the media.... is trying to expose teen drinking and I applaud you for it. So on behalf of the 'team sober' kids, thanks."

This student acknowledges that many of her underaged friends bought alcohol at Town Square Market, the liquor store McCarren exposed in her first story.  

"Kids need to understand that there is so much more to life [THAN] alcohol and that we will have our time to drink- when we are 21......" She goes on to say that some of her peers who drink quote "....forget how to have fun or live life without it."  And she goes on to say:  " I have wanted Town {square} Market shut down ever since a friend told me about it, and I certainly hope that no more underage kids will be able to buy alcohol," the note-writer said.

"What is going on with ABRA--DC'S Alcohol control Board regarding Town Square Market?"

McCarren says that is one of the primary questions she is getting from members of the community. McCarren brought this story to ABRA'S attention two months before she confronted the store owner and two months before 9News Now aired a story.  So far, there has been no action taken against the store.  But ABRA tells us they are investigating.

Wednesday night at 11 p.m., McCarren takes a gritty, realistic look at what teenagers are doing from the people who know it best.  

Some of it is going to be difficult for parents to hear. You'll hear police describe a disturbing and growing trend at underage drinking parties and that is teenage girls being gang raped while intoxicated.

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