Supplying alcohol to minors. We probably all know someone who does this – maybe as kids we had that favorite adult that would help us get beer for our parties. Maybe as parents we wonder who that adult is for our kids. Maybe we ourselves are the ones illegally giving or selling alcohol to minors.
The problem of underage drinking is one that has fallen by the wayside in our country. Most people just accept the fact that high school and college kids drink. There is more that we can and should be doing, and one of the first things would be to get adults to stop providing the alcohol for minors.
Some parents don’t see the harm in giving their kids alcohol, or even letting them throw parties with alcohol, as long as it is under their own roof. In some places, it is ok for parents to give their child alcohol, under supervision. This does not mean it is ok for parents to give other people’s children alcohol. And encouraging this kind of drinking and partying is not healthy for the teens. There are so many dangers to underage drinking, including alcohol poisoning, risky behavior, drunk driving, and tolerance for alcohol.
Other adults that enable minors are those that sell alcohol without checking identification, or knowingly sell to underagers. Kids know which clerks will sell without checking an ID, and they will repeatedly go back to these adults for all their alcohol needs. If caught, these adults can face fines of $500 or more, along with criminal charges. If the alcohol they sold to a minor results in injury or death, the charges can be more severe. But still, some stores or gas stations experience multiple violations by their employees before they are able to get the situation under control.
Then there are those adults that are willing to buy alcohol for minors that ask. Sometimes the adults are known in the town as one who will buy. Other adults, when approached by a minor outside a store, will go in and purchase for the underager. No questions asked.
How can we expect to teach our teens to stay away from alcohol when they are getting mixed messages from the adults around them? Underage drinking is illegal. It’s wrong. Adults have no place enabling or encouraging alcohol consumption by anyone under 21.
In certain areas, authorities are good about keeping an eye on underage alcohol sales. Undercover informants will find who sells alcohol to minors, and the adults are prosecuted. But in too many areas, this problem is not a priority, and the selling continues on and on. Better education about the dangers of underage drinking will help these adults that just don’t get it, to understand the harm they are doing.