Help Make It A Safe Summer: Don't Serve Alcohol To Teens
A national campaign to reduce underage drinking is helping the nation understand that serving alcohol to teens is unsafe, illegal and irresponsible. “We Don’t Serve Teens” focuses on the “social sources”–parents of other teens, older siblings and friends–from whom most teens who drink get their alcohol.
To teens, the word “summer” means freedom. School is out and teens have more time with friends, often with reduced adult supervision. Unfortunately, summer is a time when teens are at high risk to start drinking. It also is a time when teen drunk-driving deaths are at their highest.
Limiting youth access to alcohol is a proven way to prevent underage drinking and drinking-related problems. The campaign website–dontserveteens.gov–is sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, and supported by public and private sector organizations. The campaign has been recognized by the U.S. Senate and officials from 40 states.
Practical Steps to Take
Underage drinking is not inevitable: “We Don’t Serve Teens” offers these practical tips to help you stop teenage drinking:
• Tell your teen the minimum legal drinking age is 21, and that drinking can cause serious health and safety consequences and legal consequences for the person who provides the alcohol.
• Tell your friends that since the legal drinking age was raised to 21 in the 1980s, teen drinking and binge drinking have decreased substantially.
• Keep track of the alcohol in your home. Make sure teens can’t get into it without your knowledge.
• Be frank about telling other parents that you don’t want them serving alcohol to your teen or condoning teen drinking.
• Talk to adults who host teen parties. Let them know that 86 percent of parents support the legal drinking age and 96 percent of adults agree that it is not okay to serve alcohol to someone else’s teen.
• Talk to managers at restaurants, recreation areas, and other places teen parties are held. Tell them that the parents in your community do not want their teens to have access to alcohol.
• Let local law enforcement know that you support active policing of noisy teen parties. A noisy party may signal alcohol use; tell them you will ask them to check it out.
For more information on stopping teens’ easy access to alcohol, visit dontserveteens.gov.