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Parents, keep booze away from new graduates

May 24, 2012
Salem News

It is that time of the year when calendars start to get filled up with high school graduation parties.

It is a time to celebrate as the graduate leaves one part of his or life and enters another.

It also is a time to use common sense when hosting graduation parties.

Alcohol and graduation parties just don't mix.

Parents preach to their children about alcohol use and especially when they or their friends will be behind the wheel of a car.

Graduates will pressure their parents to offer beer or other alcoholic drinks at the party. The parents also will be asked to look the other way during the party as the graduate and their friends help themselves to a couple cold ones from the keg or a few shots from the bottle.

The law is very clear about supplying alcohol to anyone under the legal age.

The number of parents providing alcohol to teens is a small number. The majority of parents don't supply alcohol to their children or their underage friends.

Underage drinking is one of the leading causes of death for teenagers - car accidents. Underage alcohol use also is linked to two-thirds of all sexual assaults, date rapes of teens and increases the chance of sexually transmitted diseases.

Parents can be criminally charged if caught providing alcohol to a minor. They also can be sued in civil court and face financial ruin.

If the parents are the host, they need to make it clear the party will be alcohol free - even for the adults.

Parents also need to talk to their children about attending other graduation parties. Find out who is hosting, if alcohol will be available, who is invited and how many adults will be present.

Also, have discussions with your kids about what to do if they are at a party with alcohol present.

High school graduation parties are a celebration of a big event in a teens' life.

They are growing up fast, but parents need to remember that they aren't all grown up yet.



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