EDITORIAL: Hosting teen parties

Youth parties at parents’ homes have been going on for longer than today’s parents have been alive. Perhaps some parents went to them as youths themselves, and perhaps they have allowed their children and their friends to imbibe on their property where they believe the kids are safer.

The problem is that drinking and using illegal drugs, including marijuana, harms developing brains, which are susceptible to alcohol poisoning and addiction from early exposure. Youth in the current culture where drinking is against the law for anyone under 21 rarely have an opportunity to learn to drink in moderation.

Teens not only tend to drink until they are intoxicated, but they also lack the judgment to know that they shouldn’t drive. In addition, as insurance companies and parents know too well, young drivers, particularly males, drive way too fast. Too often, teens don’t grasp the consequences of drinking too much and driving too fast, resulting in harmful or even deadly outcomes.

The culture of youth parties taking place at homes with underage consumption of alcohol will not change until parents hold themselves accountable. Kids will often sneak in alcoholic beverages, or steal from the liquor cabinet, even when it’s not condoned. So parents must remain vigilant to make sure it isn’t being consumed and stop it when it is.

If parents don’t take charge themselves, the law will do it for them. A state law on hosting parties that was put on the books five years ago will help bring cultural change if parents look the other way and allow teen parties to occur.

Easton and Redding police have shown they will enforce the law if they hear about teen parties where alcohol is served. Connecticut statute 12-199 is “…an act prohibiting certain persons from allowing minors to possess alcoholic liquor in dwelling units or on private property.”

It reads, “No person having possession of, or exercising dominion and control over, any dwelling unit or private property shall (1) knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, permit any minor to possess alcoholic liquor … in such dwelling unit or on such private property, or (2) [knowing that any minor possesses alcoholic liquor … in such dwelling unit or on such private property,] fail to make reasonable efforts to halt such possession. For the purposes of this subsection, ‘minor’ means a person under 21years of age.”

Youth parties with illegal behavior will not stop until parents prevent them or break them up as soon as they learn of them. Doing so will avoid the need for police to have to uphold the law and arrest the homeowner as is their duty. This sets in motion the need to go to court and expend money for legal representation. It also causes feelings of guilt and shame.

No one ever said it was easy raising teenagers. The Easton Redding Community Care Coalition can help. If offers support and a chance to work with other parents to keep kids safe. For more information or to be included on emails about meetings and ERCCC news, send an email to [email protected]

About author

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. The Redding Pilot, 16 Bailey Avenue, Ridgefield, CT 06877

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress