During the holidays, many individuals include alcohol in their holiday celebrations. The holidays are a common time for many teenagers to try alcohol for the first time. Peer pressure and an increase in the opportunities to engage in drinking can make it difficult for some teens to say no to alcohol during the holidays. However, whether it is at a party or family gathering, underage drinking is illegal in Pennsylvania.
Underage drinking can also be very dangerous. Teenagers often do not fully recognize the dangers of drinking, including drunk driving and alcohol poisoning. Therefore, it is important to take steps this holiday season to prevent underage drinking.
Tips for Preventing Underage Drinking During the Holidays
Ways that you can help prevent underage drinking during the New Year’s holiday include:
- Communicate with your child about underage drinking. Discuss the dangers of drinking, including the legal penalties for underage drinking. Make sure that your child understands that underage drinking is against the law and even a “little bit” of alcohol on New Year’s Eve is not acceptable.
- Do not relax your standards because of the holiday. Your child is watching you and following your direction. If you give your child permission to consume alcohol because it is a holiday, your child may assume it is okay to consume alcohol on other special occasions.
- Do not allow children to host parties without adult supervision. If your children host a party or have guests, make sure that you provide sufficient adult supervision.
- If you leave home for the evening,you need to make sure that any alcohol is secured so that your teen or your teen’s friends cannot access it.
- When hosting a party at which alcohol is served and minors are present, you should have plenty of non-alcoholic party drinks in addition to alcoholic beverages.
- Discuss an exit plan with your teenager in case your teen is at a party at which alcohol is being served. You need to be clear about your views on minors drinking alcohol, but you also need to be clear that your teenager can call you and trust that you will always be available if he or she needs you or a ride.
- If your teenager is attending a party, check with the host’s parents to ensure they will provide adult supervision and confirm alcohol will not be permitted at the party.
For more information about minors and alcohol and how to prevent underage drinking, you can visit the SAMHSA webpage here.
Do You Need an Erie Underage Drinking Attorney?
If your child is charged with underage drinking,we encourage you to contact our office to discuss your child’s legal rights with our Erie underage drinking attorney. Conviction of a criminal charge related to minors and alcohol in Pennsylvania can have severe penalties. Criminal convictions can have long-term consequences for teenagers, including negatively impacting education and employment opportunities.