Thursday, May 6, 2010

Graduation Party Drinking Dangers for teenagers AND Parents

Graduation parties are just around the corner.  Here is a great article from the May 6 issue of the Romeo Observer that warns parents and students about the dangers of underage drinking at these gala events.

Police to crack down on grad party drinking
Observer Staff Writer

If you're a parent living in Romeo who plans on letting your kids and their friends drink during prom or graduation, consider yourself warned.
With milestone events like graduation and prom on the horizon, the Romeo Police Department is cracking down on parents who allow underage drinking to occur. The department is also advising parents to talk with their kids about the dangers of drinking on prom night.
Police Chief Greg Paduch said he has grown concerned because the department has been hearing more and more stories about parents who allow their teenagers to drink at parties, especially those celebrating high school graduation.
"They think they're doing their kids a favor by not allowing them to go out and drive while drinking, but on the other hand allowing them to drink in their own homes is a liability," he said.
He said if the department catches word of a party where underage drinking is taking place and investigates it, they will cite the homeowners and teenagers and will contact the parents of those teens.
"It is not going to be tolerated, I strongly discourage parents from doing it," he said. "It is not a parent's decision to allow other kids to use alcohol."
He said parents may think it is all right because the kids are under their roof, or even if they take their keys, but this doesn't make it okay.
"You could have 30 or 40 kids at your house, you can't keep track of all of 'em," he said. "You don't know if a couple kids have snuck away or somehow gained control of a vehicle."
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, the number one cause of death among youths age 15 to 20 are motor vehicle accidents. In 2005, 28 percent of teens who were killed in motor vehicle accidents had been drinking.
Figures from show that around 90 percent of 12th-graders surveyed in 2009 said it was "fairly easy" or "very easy" to obtain alcohol.
The penalty for serving alcohol to minors is a misdemeanor offense regardless of circumstances.
Romeo High School's prom is scheduled for May 21. The following are a few tips from the Romeo Police Department about preparing for a safe prom night:
  • Know all the "hot spot" destinations that groups may plan to meet at before or after prom.
  • Discuss the school's prom rules with your teen and the consequences for violating them.
  • Do not rent hotel rooms for prom goers.
  • Stay up for a prom-goer's return home and let them know you'll be waiting.

 Residents who have tips regarding parties that may include underage drinking are also encouraged to call the undercover party patrol unit of the Macomb County Sheriff's Office at (586) 307-9375.