Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking
This time of year brings lots of opportunities for teens to celebrate. Unfortunately, many times these celebrations end in tragedy because the party was fueled by alcohol provided by an adult. This year, the Buffalo County Partnership Council wants teens (and their parents) to celebrate prom and graduation safely without alcohol.
Now through June, coalition members and the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Department are raising awareness about the health and safety risks of adults serving alcohol at teen parties. The “Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking” campaign includes public events and educational displays around the community.
It is illegal for adults to purchase, pour, or provide alcohol for anyone under age 21 who isn’t their child or spouse. Parents can’t provide “permission” for an adult to purchase, pour, or provide alcohol to their children.
“Adults who purchase, pour, or provide alcohol to teens are placing both the teen and themselves in jeopardy,” said Jamie McGuire, member of the Buffalo County Partnership Council and a teacher at Mondovi High School.
Buffalo County Partnership Council will be working with police officers to identify and prosecute those who sell and serve alcohol to youth.
Here are some tips for adults (especially parents) on how to avoid being a party to teenage drinking:
- Don’t be afraid to be the bad guy. Taking a tough stand on alcohol use can help youth say no when they are pressured to drink by their friends.
- Talk with other adults about hosting alcohol-free youth events. Unity creates a tough, enforceable message.
- Set a positive example. If you host a party, always serve alternative non-alcoholic beverages and do not let anyone drink and drive.
- Stay home if a teen is hosting a party in your home. Observe the activities and confiscate any alcohol that may brought by party goers.
- Report underage drinking to the police promptly.
The “Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking” campaign was developed by the Drug Free Action Alliance. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has partnered with the Drug Free Action Alliance since 2009 to provide this program each year to over 40 community groups statewide.