Sheriff’s Corner: Teen drinking awareness month
Recently, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a proclamation declaring April as “Teenagers Drinking Alcohol Awareness Month”. The use of alcohol by our youth is not a new topic, and one that has gained awareness steadily over time. Many studies have concluded both the increased risk of adult alcohol dependency along with the physical damage that is caused by consumption of alcohol at a young age.
It is appropriate that we recognize this issue in the month of April as we begin to see the season of celebrations during the upcoming months. Whether it is prom parties, graduation parties, or just gatherings which can now be enjoyed in the backyards and back fields, we need to send the consistent message that these events can be enjoyable without the presence or consumption of alcohol by our youth.
One of the main programs which brings awareness to this issue is the “Parents Who Host Lose the Most” campaign. Some of the basic information it promotes is that it is illegal to purchase, pour or provide alcohol for anyone under the age of 21 who isn’t your child or spouse. Other parents cannot provide permission for you to serve their child. Adults who think that taking away car keys when providing alcohol places both the youth as well themselves at risk, as many of the accidents related to underage alcohol involve not just driving but things such as drowning and falls. It is important to note that many homeowners’ insurance policies do not extend liability coverage for illegal activities.
It is important that we encourage our young people to be socially active, as many of us who look back know these truly are the best days of their lives. What we do not want is to have those young lives cut short or permanently scared because of a moment of peer pressure or a bad decision. We as adults must provide the guidance and create an environment by which our children can celebrate both in the present as well as in the future.
Locally, the Kewaunee County FACES Group (Families and Communities Encouraging Success) have partnered with this national program to provide literature, and signs which we will be posting throughout the county to maintain this awareness in the upcoming weeks. We hope that everyone both young and old are able to enjoy the coming season of warm weather and joy-filled gatherings. For more information on the Parents who Host Lose the Most Campaign please visit: www.drugfreeactionalliance.org. Also please visit our “Kewaunee County FACES” Group at our Facebook Page.
Matt Joski is Kewaunee County sheriff.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Sheriff's Corner: Teen drinking awareness month