Magazine article USA TODAY

Teach Teens Dangers of Underage Drinking. (Your Life)

Magazine article USA TODAY

Teach Teens Dangers of Underage Drinking. (Your Life)

Article excerpt

With the school year coming to an end, teens find much to celebrate. Prom season is here; graduation is fast approaching; and summer vacation lies ahead. While the festivities abound, though, so does teenage drinking. Professional Insurance Agents of New York State Inc. (PIANY), Glenmont, reminds parents that this is a crucial time for talking with teens about underage drinking and driving risks related to alcohol. Parents have a great deal of influence on their children's decisions and can prevent tragic outcomes with a few simple words.

"Considering the current statistics regarding teen alcohol abuse, I cannot emphasize enough the need to prevent teen drinking. Even one drinking episode could be fatal. Automobile crashes related to underage drinking are the leading cause of death for teens. Approximately 36% of traffic deaths of 15- to 20-year-olds are alcohol-related. Although the death toll seems to be on a decline, alarming statistics like these confirm that underage drinking isn't a problem of the past," points out former PIANY president Lynne Frank.

He advises parents to talk about the hazards of alcohol on a regular basis. Studies show that prom night activities commonly include drinking. If teenagers get away with drinking on an occasion like this, they may tend to ignore the fact that underage drinking has consequences. For example, if a teen decides to drive under the influence, he or she is in direct violation of the zero-tolerance law, which means the loss of his or her license if caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0. …

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