Local law enforcement agencies are taking part in a statewide crackdown against underage drinking starting today.

The campaign, called "Out of their Hands," will use increased law enforcement and a public education blitz to thwart un- deraged drinking as prom season and the end of the school year approaches. The campaign runs through April 11.

The Ernest E. Kennedy Center, an outpatient substance abuse program based in Moncks Corner, is working with local law enforcement agencies to coordinate the effort in the tri-county area.

Wehme Hutto of the center said law enforcement will be conducting increased public safety checkpoints and compliance checks, in which officers use underage drinkers to attempt to buy alcohol from stores.

There also will be educational presentations throughout the region, she said.

More information is available at www.outoftheirhands.com.

Reach Andy Paras at 937-5589 or aparas@postandcourier.com