To the editor:
The traditional rites of spring — prom and graduation — can be exciting times when teens experience a taste of adulthood. However, illegal use of alcohol or drugs is a good way to seriously derail one’s future goals and objectives.
We all know consumption of alcoholic beverages by those under 21 is illegal, but many teens do not appreciate that drinking reduces inhibitions and leads to bad decisions, whether it is driving under the influence or exposing one’s self to vulnerable situations.
Once alcohol consumption begins, reduced judgment can lead to overindulgence, alcohol-induced injury and even alcohol poisoning.
Young people who get arrested for illegal consumption or possession of illegal drugs may lose college scholarships or even college acceptance. If one happens to be a 21st Century Scholar, the negative consequences can be enormous, including the total loss of benefits a student has worked hard to achieve.
An arrest and conviction for underage drinking or illegal possession of drugs can lead to jail, probation, fines, embarrassment and the potential loss of military eligibility. This list, by far, is not an exhaustive list of negative consequences.
Parents who host parties where alcohol is available for underage consumption have the mistaken belief that they can provide a safe environment for this behavior.
Parents, or anyone who allows underage drinking on their premises, may face civil or criminal liability for what happens to minors.
Adults who allow underage drinking should additionally consider that they might be making parenting decisions for another person’s child. Would these same parents want other parents to decide what is right or wrong for their child?
Moreover, parents who allow underage drinking are sending a message to impressionable minors that it is acceptable to violate the law.
As a community, we can send a positive message stressing independent thought and critical thinking while still respecting society’s laws.
It is an exciting time for our Brown County High School graduates. The Brown County Prosecutor’s Office collectively extends our sincerest congratulations to our local graduates in accomplishing a major milestone.
We hope not to see any police reports involving our high school students during these festivities.
Be smart. Think about your future goals and objectives and the impact poor decisions may have on them, and most of all, be safe.
Theodore F. Adams, Brown County prosecuting attorney
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