Lawn signs are popping up across Meriden reminding graduating high school seniors to make safe healthy decisions. These signs which carry the message “Congratulations Seniors, The future is yours… Celebrate Sober” are provided by Rushford and the Meriden Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force.
Graduation parties are being planned, but with the fun, come the dangers associated with underage alcohol consumption. We at Rushford encourage you to help reduce the use of alcohol (and other drugs) among minors. Help protect your child’s bright future by providing a safe, alcohol-free season of celebrations for your son or daughter.
Meriden Project Graduation sponsors a chaperoned Safe Graduation Party and we sincerely hope that you will encourage your teen to attend. This is a wonderful event that takes months of planning and a great deal of support from the community. In addition to the class celebration, many family parties and celebrations will also he held. Unfortunately we continue to see parents who are willing to host private parties where alcohol is served to teens and the motto is “we will take all of the keys so that no kids drive, and everyone will be safe.” These parents mistakenly believe that they are protecting teenagers by providing a place for them and their friends to drink “safely.” Hosts believe by taking their keys or condoning a sleep over teens may be protected from the risks associated with drunk driving, but inadvertently these practices increase their risk of alcohol poisoning, sexual assault, unprotected sex, other drug use, and other risky behaviors often associated with underage drinking. These parents are not only vulnerable; they are conducting an illegal act. The law states that no parent has the right to provide alcohol to someone else’s child. Parents who allow underage drinking parties risk conviction of Connecticut State Statute-Delivery of Alcohol To a Minor. The penalty for violation of this state statute is an arrest and a fine of up to $1500.00.
For information on the Meriden Underage Drinking Prevention Task force initiatives or to get involved, please call Sheryl Sprague, Manager of Prevention and Wellness at Rushford at 203-630-5357.
To the Graduating class of 2011 CONGRATULATUIONS, please celebrate safely, with no alcohol or drugs. We wish you much success and a long, healthy life. To the parents of the class of 2011, welcome to the next phase of your parenting life……….