Police in York County will use special patrols to combat underage drinking in sand pits and other places known to be sites of frequent parties.

The York County Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Task Force includes 50 officers from Biddeford, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Sanford and the York County Sheriff’s Office.

During “party patrols,” officers will look for minors drinking at homes, sand pits and other places where teenagers often gather to drink, said Kennebunk Police Chief Robert MacKenzie.

Undercover officers will monitor stores to make sure alcohol is not being sold to underage customers.

Minors working with police will try to find people to buy them alcohol and try to buy directly from stores.

“Underage drinking is a statewide problem that has no boundaries,” MacKenzie said.

All members of the task force are sworn sheriff’s deputies. They are authorized to cross town lines to address underage-drinking incidents.

The task force is one of eight units in Maine formed through a federally funded program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.


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