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Adult Host Responsibility: Beach week Rule #7

“No hard liquor or controlled substances may be consumed.” Reference: recent news articles about a June 2013 beach week party. So, does the rule mean that beer and wine are allowed to be consumed by youth under the age of 21?

Some parents feel that providing/furnishing alcohol to developing teens is harmless. This continues to be one of the strongest obstacles in underage alcohol prevention and continues to occur year after year. Underage binge drinking and inebriation results in sexual assault, alcohol poisoning, injury or death. These are the heartbreaking and life-altering consequences of under 21-alcohol use.

What concerns us is the lack of outrage from our community for any parent(s) who makes the decision to host and/or furnish alcohol to our precious, natural resource, our youth. This is very risky behavior, not only for the youth but for the adults involved. The hosting parent(s) should bear the responsibility for any consequences of under 21 alcohol use.

The majority of parents want their children to have a healthy and safe development. Parents need to be courageous and take a stance against those few parents who feel that they are above the law and make the bad decision to provide/furnish alcohol to our youth.

The Keeping It SAFE: Under 21 Alcohol Prevention Coalition continues to work to deter underage alcohol use. This county wide team is comprised of representatives from MC PTA, MC Police, MC Dept of Liquor Control and other public/private agencies and concerned individuals. We know that parents are a part of the solution. Resources are available by contacting: dlc.kis@montgomerycountymd.gov or 240-777-6652.

One such resource is the SAFE Line: 301-670-SAFE. There are two functions for this dedicated phone line: 1.To report adults furnishing, selling, or providing alcohol to those under 21 and  2. To request assistance in organizing an alcohol free activity for youth.

Use of alcohol under 21 is preventable and the simple message is: it is illegal, unhealthy, and should be unacceptable.

Meg Baker, C.P.P. Team Leader Keeping It SAFE: Under 21 Alcohol Prevention Coalition Dlc.kis@montgomerycountymd.gov or 240-777-6652

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