“Parents Who Host Lose the Most: Don’t Be a Party to Teenage Drinking” is a campaign utilized by Coalitions throughout the nation to educate parents and adults about the consequences of underage drinking. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of supporting alcohol free lifestyles among adolescents to make sure that they can reach their full potential in their days ahead.
Providing alcohol to a minor is both irresponsible and against the law. It is illegal to purchase, pour, make available or provide alcohol for anyone under the age of 21, except for religious purposes or in the presence of AND with the permission of his/her parent or legal guardian.
The legal consequences of breaking the law include a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail. Anyone supplying alcohol to minors can be subject to one or many lawsuit[s] if an underage drinker hurts someone else or damages any property.
During prom events, graduation parties and other summer festivities, alcohol is a growing temptation for the youth. Social gatherings expose adolescents to a prime environment for alcohol consumption, therefore social hosts are encouraged to ensure that only non-alcoholic beverages are served to ensure a safe, fun, and alcohol-free social atmosphere.
Recommendations for when your teen is having a party:
- Get involved in planning the party.
- Make a guest list and invite only a limited number of people.
- Include your phone number on the invitation and welcome calls from other parents.
- Set rules ahead of time such as no tobacco, drugs or alcohol.
- Decide on the start and end time for the party.
- Have plenty of food and non-alcoholic drinks available.
- Plan some fun activities such as music, games, movies, etc.
- Let your neighbors know in advance that there will be a party and that you will be there to supervise.
- Limit the party to a certain area of the house/property.
- Be sure to call the parent of any teen who arrives in possession of alcohol or under the influence. If you can’t get in touch with the parents, keep the teen there or call the police if necessary.
- Ensure that your household’s alcohol cabinet, firearms, prescription drugs and other hazardous items are in a safe place in your home.
- Learn about the Town’s Ordinances to prevent noise complaints.
- Make regular and unobtrusive visits to the party area with sensitivity for teen’s needs for privacy and independence.
- Invite other parents to help chaperone if you expect a large number of teens.
If you are away from home or out of Town, please remember to:
- Set and communicate rules and standards to be followed in your absence
- Do not allow youth to have unsupervised parties or gatherings
- Remind your teen of their responsibilities and consequences of their actions
- Have a relative or trusted adult stay in your home during your absence, have your teenager stay with a trusted adult or ask your neighbor to watch the house and stop while you are gone.
- If you are still concerned that your child might have a party anyway, you can call your local police and ask them to drive by your house at some point during the time you are gone. Be sure to inform your child that you have asked the police to do this.
If your teen is attending a party:
- Know where exactly your child will be. Call the parent in charge to verify the occasion and location of the party and ensure that there will be adult supervision.
- Ask how many teens are expected at the party and offer to help supervise or provide refreshments.
- Ask whether the host will be serving or allowing alcohol. Ask how they plan to handle the situation if a teen shows up with alcohol or under the influence.
- Explain the expectations of your child and the host that if the teens leave and go somewhere else, you will want to know.
- Set a curfew for your teen to be home or when they arrive home, ask them to check in with you.
- Know how your child is getting to and from the party. Reinforce the message to your teenager that they should never allow someone who has been drinking or using other drugs to drive them anywhere.
- Assure your child that they can telephone you to be picked up whenever needed.
- If the activity seems inappropriate, express concern and keep your child home.
- Get to know your child’s friends and their parents.
- Find out their opinions and family rules about alcohol, drugs and tobacco use.
- Remember it is illegal to serve alcohol to underage youth other than your own child.