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Parents, let's join to stop illegal underage drinking

The Substance Abuse Committee together with local law enforcement agencies reminds everyone about "Parents Who Host Lose the Most: Don't Be a Party to Teenage Drinking."

This campaign encourages parents and other responsible adults to clearly and directly remind family members and close friends that allowing teenage alcohol consumption is illegal.

It is also unsafe, and unhealthy for anyone under age 21 to drink alcohol. Allowing underage youth to drink alcohol in your home endangers everyone's children.

Together, as a community, we can all say hosting or allowing underage drinking is unacceptable in our community. We'll be cooperating with police efforts to identify and prosecute those who sell and serve alcohol to youth.

Underage drinking isn't a "gray area" of the law. It is illegal to purchase, pour or provide alcohol for anyone under age 21 who isn't your child or spouse. Other parents can't provide "permission" for you to serve their kids alcohol.

Adults who think taking car keys away when providing alcohol to youth are placing them at risk for alcohol poisoning, sexual assault, and other accidents such as drowning.

Parents, grandparents and other adults hosting parties for youth under age 21 should plan family and teenage events carefully to prevent underage alcohol use. Parents can protect themselves and teens by following simple guidelines when hosting parties:

n Host safe, alcohol-free activities and events for youth during prom and graduation season.

n Be at home when your teenager has a party.

n Make sure your teenager's friends do not bring alcohol into your home. If youth bring alcohol into your home, confiscate it immediately.

n Talk to other parents about alcohol-free youth events. Unity creates a tough, enforceable message.

Further questions can be directed to Sara Sedahl at 715-246-8207.