Toll-free tip line allows public to report underage drinking. KDOT hopes to save lives.


1-866-MUST-B-21 has new website and improved service.


Underage drinking is a serious problem in Kansas. It’s illegal. And it’s dangerous. One important resource for preventing the tragic consequences of underage drinking is 1-866-MUST-B-21. This toll-free tip line, a service of the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), is an easy way for the public to notify state and local law enforcement when they see or suspect underage drinking in their community. KDOT is pleased to announce a new website and improved service for the tip line. First launched in 2006, 1-866-MUST-B-21 is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Kansas Highway Patrol provides dispatch services. Anyone can call the number, and calls may be kept anonymous. Nebraska began offering a similar service in 2008.

Young people who drink face serious social, health and legal consequences. And while underage drivers make up less than 9 percent of the driving population, they are a factor in almost 17 percent of alcohol-related crashes. In Kansas in 2010, impaired underage drivers were implicated in crashes that killed 19 and injured 325. To safeguard both young people and the public, it’s in every community’s interest to assist with law enforcement. That includes enforcing laws against driving under the influence (only .02 BAC for those under 21 in Kansas) and against furnishing alcohol or allowing underage drinking on one’s property.

Callers to the tip line will be prompted to enter a number corresponding to their state (“1” for Kansas) and then will be connected to the Kansas Highway Patrol call dispatch center. The dispatch operator will determine the nature of the suspected violation and will transfer callers too the appropriate law enforcement agency. Calls can be anonymous. Things to report: parties involving underage drinkers, ideally before they start; anyone purchasing alcohol for someone underage; anyone giving or selling alcohol to someone underage; suspected underage drinking anywhere, including at house parties.

1-866-MUST-B-21 is much more than a tip line. The new website,, is the go-to place for information about underage drinking, for teens and adults. There are educational links and resources, as well as a listing of state laws relating to underage drinking. Everyone can learn from the Law Enforcement Forum, where prosecutors, police and others address topics of interest and answer questions from the public. KDOT supports the expansion of the tip line system beyond Kansas and Nebraska. So the website includes details about becoming a member state. KDOT also welcomes help in promoting 1-866-MUST-B-21. The website has links for downloadable posters and free wallet cards for school or other community events.

Underage drinking is a problem we can do something about. 1-866-MUST-B-21 is a service of the Kansas Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Safety and Technology, which works to improve the quality of life and safety on our roads by reducing the number of underage drinkers.

For more information: Contact Steve Halbett at KDOT (785-296-3756, email), or go to