To the Editor:
With prom season upon us and graduation right around the corner, Adults need to know that preventing teens from drinking and driving by taking the car keys doesn’t protect them from other consequences associated with underage drinking.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recently completed an analysis of 2010 data from multiple sources and reported that 32 percent of deaths attributable to underage drinking among 15-20 year olds were traffic related—that’s only 1/3 of the deaths. Nearly just as many fatalities in that age range were attributed to homicides, followed by suicides and alcohol poisonings.
To ensure teens in our community are safe at this time of year and beyond, remember that taking the keys is not nearly enough. Instead, serve non-alcoholic beverages, chaperone parties, and always restrict teen access to alcohol by locking it up.
Korin A.S. Kingman, MPH, Community Coalition Coordinator