A series of conferences aimed at educating parents from Utah's ethnic minority communities about parental involvement in curbing underage drinking starts today.

"Up to 45 percent of parents don't believe that they are the number one influence over their child's decision not to drink ... when in reality they are," said Doug Murakami of the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The series is a partnership among the ABC, State Office of Ethnic Affairs, Communidades Unidas and the Utah Chapter of Parents Empowered.

The conferences are free and open to the public. The first, targeting the Hispanic/Latino community, will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton Hotel, 255 S. West Temple.

A Pacific Islander community conference will run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9 at the Methodist Tongan Church. Conferences for the black and Asian communities will be held in January.