Posted: 11:05 p.m.
In the Desert Southwest, it is not difficult to find remote spaces off the grid, and authorities say some teens go to those locations to drink and do drugs while they think they are off the radar of their parents and law enforcement.
Monday, teens from Yuma County's Anti-Drug Coalition and the YMCA partnered with the Yuma County Sheriff's Office to film a public service announcement.
"The youth is kind of getting kind of crazy, so we're just trying to portray that they kind of need to calm down a little bit and that underage drinking really isn't necessary; there's a lot of other things that we could be doing," said Alejandra Espinoza, a high school student who is participating in the filming of the PSA.
The teens' message is a simple but strong one that echoes that of law enforcement.
"If you start using drugs or alcohol, and then you don't make good decisions, and then you leave first responders kind of a tough situation, where if they've got to go out and get you, it's going to take a while," said Officer Kent Stevens with the Yuma County Sheriff's Office.
Besides the obvious dangers to drinking underage and doing drugs at any time, teens who go out into the wilderness to drink and do drugs, only amplify their risks, Stevens said.
"The kids think that because they're away from the city, they're kind of immune from the laws and they're immune from the problems," Stevens said.
He added that YCSO regularly patrols remote locations looking for people who should not be there.
It is a simple, yet important, message from a group of young actors and law enforcement that could spare teens some trouble and sometimes even their lives.
"It should be known that underage drinking is not good at all. I know a lot of friends that have gotten in trouble for it, and it cost them a lot," said Anthony Ashby, another high school student who participated in filming the PSA.
The PSA will be ready to air in the next few weeks, and the message will also be translated in Spanish.