April is also Alcohol Awareness month, as well as the beginning of the prom, graduation, and summer party season. Therefore, it is time for all responsible adults to bring the topic of safe behavior to the attention of the teens we love. It is also time to remind parents of the dangers of hosting underage drinking parties. Hosting a party where alcohol is available to underage youth is illegal, and can also pose serious health risks and legal ramifications for everyone involved. This is known as Social Hosting, and in 2014 Indiana passed a law prohibiting anyone from “furnishing property for the purpose of enabling minors to consume alcohol.” (I.C. 7.1-5-7-8). That means that if underage drinking is taking place in your home or on your property-owned or rented-you are responsible.
To bring public awareness to this law, the Alcohol & Addictions Resource Center (AARC) is unveiling a campaign entitled Parents Who Host, Lose the Most: Don’t be a party to underage drinking. This campaign provides good information to parents about the health risks and legal consequences of providing alcohol to youth. In addition, the campaign encourages parents and the community to send a unified message that teen alcohol consumption is not acceptable.
Parents should understand that taking away the car keys does not solve all of the problems related to underage drinking. Did you know:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least six youth under 21 die every day from non-driving alcohol-related causes (such as drowning and suicide)
- Studies reveal that alcohol consumption by adolescents results in brain damage (possibly permanent) and impairs intellectual development
- When drinking is delayed until age 21, a child’s risk of serious alcohol problems decreased by 70%
Press Release (PDF)