Graduation season is here, and Arizona SADD wants to remind everyone to enjoy this time together – and celebrate with safety in mind.
Celebrations are a part of life’s milestones, but it is important for parents to understand the laws as they relate to providing alcohol to underage persons.
“Parents need to understand that it is against the law to offer alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 – even if you are taking their keys so they won’t drive,” says Jessica Hugdahl, Arizona SADD State Coordinator. “They can face criminal and civil sanctions if underage persons are consuming alcohol on their property.”
Underage drinkers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors or become victim due to vulnerability. The effects of alcohol impair judgement and coordination, often resulting in poor decision making. The key to helping your teen make healthy choices is communication and planning.
Tips for keeping your teen safe during graduation night include:
- Communicate expectations with your teen, their friends, and others who may be hosting parties
- Talk with your teen about drugs and alcohol
- Know where they are and who they are with
- Have pre-established times for your teen to call and check in with you
- Make sure your teen always buckles up in any vehicle
- Don’t rent hotel rooms for your teens graduation parties
- Remind your teen to never get in the car with anyone that is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Volunteer to supervise graduation events
- Remind your teen of existing curfews
- Stay awake until your teen gets home
Open communication between parents and teens regarding behaviors and expectations can make a huge difference in preventing impaired driving, drug/alcohol use, and other destructive decisions. Take the few minutes to have the conversation and keep your child safe.
For almost 40 years, SADD, the nation’s premier youth health & safety organization has worked to empower teens, engage parents, mobilize communities, and change lives around the issues of traffic safety, substance abuse, and personal health and safety. Through a national network of peer-led chapters in middle schools, high schools and colleges, SADD equips our students with the resources they need to advocate for change on their campuses and in their communities. Join the movement by visiting www.sadd.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
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