Dear Editor,

The Johnson County Prevention Council wants to remind parents and other adults about the health risks and the legal consequences of providing alcohol to youth. 

Hosting a graduation party or any gathering where alcohol is available to underage youth is illegal and can pose serious health risks and legal ramifications to everyone involved. Parents should understand that taking away the car keys does not solve all of the problems related to underage drinking. In our country, at least six youth under the age of 21 die every day from non-driving alcohol-related causes, such as drowning and suicide. Sexual activity and delinquent behaviors also increase with underage drinking.

Parents who knowingly allow a person under 21 to remain on their property while consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages can be prosecuted under City of Buffalo Ordinance #1321 and may be fined $750 for each underage person consuming alcohol on their property.

Adults providing alcohol to underage youth sends a mixed message and can only add to a teenager’s confusion about the acceptability of drinking. They are also sending the message to teens that they do not have to obey the law. Research shows that most teenagers appreciate it when their parents set boundaries and establish expectations that are fairly enforced. Let’s be unified in our message, and host alcohol-free parties with plenty of fun activities to show our youth that we care about their future.

 Buffalo Police Chief Jason Carder

Buffalo

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