The High Price of Teen Drinking
Springtime is, among other things, prom time. It is a time when teenagers like to up and too frequently, view the evening as an opportunity to act in ways that they perceive as grown up.
That behavior often includes drinking alcohol. But just because we know that our kids will be confronted with opportunities to drink does not mean that parents should expect that their teens will drink.
Parents can welcome prom season as just one more opportunity to educate and warn their teens about the costliness of making poor decisions when it comes to alcohol.
A criminal defense lawyer in Connecticut recently wrote an opinion article in which he charged parents to take more seriously their responsibility to give teens some of the hard facts about drinking. Some of the facts which he emphasized:
- Alcohol is involved in a majority of criminal arrests in his state
- National studies show that alcohol and/or drugs contribute to almost 80 percent of violent offenses, 83 percent of crimes against property and 77 percent of public disorder crimes
- Teens who drink are less inhibited, more aggressive and more apt to behave criminally
- Teen drinking is responsible for most sexual assault cases among teens and can earn them 10 to 20 years in jail
- Teens serving other teens alcohol is a punishable crime (an unclassified felony offense)
- Teens are more susceptible to alcohol-related brain damage
- Parents of teens involved in drinking and/or alcohol-related crimes may be held legally culpable. While the teen years are a great opportunity to lay the groundwork for a future friendship with your child and parents must never lose sight of the fact that teens still need them to act responsibly as parents.