By Marlee Ginter

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Underage drinking deaths are dramatically higher since the pandemic. Now, state investigators want to crack down on those supplying the booze.

Alcoholic Beverage Control just launched a new campaign to stop underage drinking, warning that they’re going straight to the source that sold the alcohol or provided it.

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A crash scene may provide way more than you imagined. Something as simple as a receipt in the car can lead investigators to a store, surveillance video and even a house party to catch whoever is getting alcohol to minors.

“We’ll get notified by the responding agency, and at that time, we’ll go out to the scene and start collecting evidence,” Brandon Shotwell said.

Shotwell is the supervising agent in charge of ABC’s trace unit which is tracking illegal alcohol sales. So how bad is the problem?

For the past three years, they’ve had a yearly increase in investigations—with 213 trace investigations since 2020 when the pandemic started and more than 100 teen deaths involving DUI.

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“It’s devastating. It devastates the family. It devastates the community,” said Lori Bergenstock.

Bergenstock visits high schools across Sacramento as part of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

“If I can even reach one kid in a school, if I can reach one parent and get them to talk to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking, then I feel like I’ve done my job,” she said.

Now, this new critical campaign could save lives.

“For us, the loss of one life is too many, so we really try to take all preventative measures,” Shotwell said.

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The campaign comes just as prom season gets underway. With that in mind, it’s a warning that those caught providing alcohol to minors could face fines or even jail time and businesses could lose their liquor license altogether.