Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Parent reports underage drinking party

Over the weekend, Portland police broke up an underage drinking party, thanks to the report of a parent whose teen was involved:

PORTLAND – Police broke up a party during the weekend involving 35 to 40 teenagers, mostly from Deering and Portland high schools. Police were called to 16 Hope Ave. at 11:50 p.m. Saturday, after the parent of a teenager who had been drinking at the party reported it, police said …Police issued a court summons to a 16-year-old for furnishing the alcohol. [A father and son] were ordered to appear in court on charges of furnishing a place for minors to drink.
Reporting a party can be difficult choice for a parent, and we appreciate this parent’s decision to prioritize the health and safety of the young people involved. It’s up to each one of us to help make sure youth are safe, and we all are responsible for reporting dangerous situations—like underage drinking parties.

To those who are wondering, “What’s the big deal as long as they’re not driving?” we would point out that every year, alcohol contributes to more youth deaths than all other illegal drugs combined, and only 1/3 of those deaths are from car crashes.

The reality is that 2/3 of underage drinking deaths are the result of suicides, homicides, and injuries like alcohol poisoning, drowning, burns, falls, and suffocation. And there is collateral damage as well: underage drinking also increases youth risk of depression, addiction, sexual assault, teen pregnancy, school failure, and delinquency.

There is nothing to celebrate about that.

If you hear of an underage drinking party, report it to your local police department. A list of numbers for Southern Maine police departments is available here.

More tips for parental monitoring are available on our Parent Resources page.

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