Preventing underage drinking and drunk driving

Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition met Thursday night

Photo Courtesy of MGN Online

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Shocking numbers from the Centers for Disease Control. One in four high school students binge drank in the last month, and just as many got in a car with someone who had been drinking.

In Easthampton, parents are urging other parents to ask a few simple questions before their teen goes to a gathering where alcohol will be present, but chaperones will not be.

A few questions that may be tough to ask, but could save your teen-age child’s life. Who will you hang out with? Will there be adults? Will there be alcohol?

Thursday night, the Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition met with dozens of high school students and parents. They agreed; unsupervised underage drinking parties expose teens to binge drinking and drunk driving. They want everyone to know the law.

Under the Massachusetts Social Host Law, you can face criminal charges you’re caught giving alcohol to anyone under 21. The only exception would be your own children or grandchildren while they’re on your property.

Also, always keep up-to-date on your child’s whereabouts. Angelique Baker told 22News she has three children. She said, “We have definitely talked about that, so he knows my viewpoints. He’s pretty strict on his viewpoints because he’s seen what can happen. So we definitely have a code word set up.”

Paige Roy, Easthampton High School student, said, “I think that will help a lot actually. I feel like some kids our age don’t even have that with parents, so I feel like that would be really helpful.”

Coalition Coordinator Ruth Ever suggests calling, not texting, to check in. She said “Talking is always better than texting because you kind of hear what’s happening. You hear where they are. You hear how their voice sounds. You get a little more information, but any way you can communicate and keep track of them is helpful.”

For more tips on how to stop teens from making bad decisions, like drinking and driving, Click Here.

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