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Town Holds Drinkless Day

June 3, 1985

SCITUATE, Mass. (AP) _ One liquor store shut down for the day and restaurants cut prices on non- alcoholic beverages during ″Alcohol Awareness Day″ as the state’s legal drinking age rose from 20 to 21.

Parents and students in this coastal town of 17,000 signed ″contracts″ with one another pledging not to drink for the day on Saturday.

″If one thing can be said, it’s that everyone in town gave some thought as to whether they wanted to participate or not and why,″ said School Committee Chairwoman Cathleen Everett.

Because parents were not asked to return the contracts to the high school, officials said they did not know how many families decided to abstain for the day.

But Dr. David Morin, a pediatrician and school board member largely responsible for the contracts, estimated about 500 people expressed interest in the pacts.

At Will Tedeschi’s Package Store, the largest of six retail liquor establishments in town, signs were posted that said, ″In cooperation with Scituate’s Alcohol Awareness Day, we are voluntarily closing all day Saturday, June 1.″

Down the street, Mark Bailey’s Liquors placed a Swiss beer and California wine - both nonalcoholic - prominently on sale.

At the Mill Wharf Restaurant, a colorful chalkboard advertised lower prices for non-alcoholic beverages.

Only a few calls came to a ″hot line″ for residents to talk with counselors about alcohol or other substance-related problems, said Jerry J. DiMatteo, a social worker who helped answer phones, and a seminar on drinking attracted only about 60 people.

But the mother of one family that signed the contracts said she thought the alcohol-free day achieved its purpose.

″It’s got people thinking and talking,″ said Michele Dorsey, 35.

″If we evaluate the day and it seemed to have some impact there’s every possibility it will occur again next year,″ Ms. Everett said.

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