Department Reminds Parents to Discuss Consequences of Underage Drinking during Alcohol Awareness Month
“With added freedom, young people will have more opportunities for drinking alcohol, and parents need to equip their teens with a full understanding of the real-life consequences they face whenever they drink,” Harris said.
The Department of Consumer Protection is running messages on radio and television during April to encourage parents to have these important conversations with their teens. For many, adopting a “not my kid” stance about the actions of their teens results in a painful face-off with reality.
“The potential consequences of drinking can and often do have an immediate and lasting effect on a teen’s future,” Harris said. “In addition to the health and safety risks and legal consequences if caught, a student’s scholarships, financial aid awards, community and academic awards, job opportunities and even participation on sports teams may be jeopardized.”
Parents should ensure that any venue or party where their kids will be has safeguards to prevent underage drinking -- such as responsible adult supervision. Driving youth to concerts and evening sporting events, rather than allowing them to catch a ride with other teens, is a deterrent to drinking, as is contacting the parents of a teen hosting a party before allowing your teen to attend.
As the State’s licensing and regulating authority for liquor, the Department’s Division of Liquor Control is active in the battle to prevent youth access to alcohol. Throughout the year we collaborate with state and local police officers to conduct joint actions that enforce underage drinking laws. These include alcohol compliance operations that use volunteer minors trained by the Governor’s Prevention Partnership to deter establishments from serving minors. In 2014, we conducted 324 local liquor compliance checks in more than 20 communities. Of that total, 60 Connecticut retailers failed by selling to a minor. More importantly however, 264 retailers passed by NOT selling to a minor.