Don't Be A Party To Underage Drinking

Graduation season is upon us. And that means lots of celebrations for graduates and their families and friends.

In order for all to be safe here in Bethel and beyond, if you don't already know, now would be a good time to familiarize yourself with the laws regarding alcohol and teenagers.

Serving alcohol to minors is a serious, criminal offense. According to a press release from the Governor's Prevention Partnership, even allowing underage youth access to alcohol (without directly providing it) violates Connecticut's social hosting law. In addition, parents who provide or allow underage youth access to alcohol open themselves up to significant financial liability. Beyond legal ramifications, it's important to remember that young people who start using alcohol before age 15 are five times more likely to have alcohol-related problems later in life.

In Connecticut, serving alcohol to minors is a misdemeanor charge and the penalties for hosting a party, or allowing minors to consume alcohol range between fines of $74—$136 to a fine no more than $500, or imprisoned no more than 1 year, or both.

It is illegal for anyone under 21 to possess alcohol anywhere, on public or private property. The penalty for a minor possessing alcohol: First offense is an infraction resulting in a fine ranging between $74—$136. Subsequent offenses: A fine ranging between $200—$500.

"Parents Who Host, Lose the Most" is a public awareness program educating communities and parents about the health and safety risks of serving alcohol at teen parties. The program takes place at state and local levels, concentrating on celebratory times for youth, such as homecoming, holidays, prom, graduation and other times when underage drinking parties are prevalent. Signs are placed around town to remind community members of the dangers of allowing underage drinking.

This program encourages parents and the entire community to send a unified message that teen alcohol consumption is unhealthy, unsafe and unacceptable.

GradNite 2014 is a safe, alcohol free celebration held at Nonnewaug High School on the evening of graduation. This year it is Saturday, June 21 and begins at 8 p.m.

For more information, contact

Now in its 25th year, The Governor's Prevention Partnership is a statewide nonprofit public-private alliance, building a strong, healthy future workforce through leadership in mentoring and prevention of youth violence and bullying, underage drinking, and substance abuse. The Partnership is the only statewide organization focusing exclusively on prevention issues affecting youth.

Submitted by Bethel, CT

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