With prom and graduation season upon us the Woodstock Police Department is asking that those families with teens that will be participating in these events use extra care to ensure that a safe time is had by everyone and that a tragedy is avoided. Studies have shown that a 16-year-old is more likely to die from an alcohol-related incident than from any other cause.
In conjunction with these events the Woodstock Police Department will be participating with other local and state law enforcement agencies from the Windsor County START team and will have additional officers on patrol throughout Windsor County during prom and graduation events.
Below are some very sobering facts:
The facts paint a clear and sobering picture. Alcohol-related injuries claim the lives of more than 5,000 teens every year.
Fact: On prom and graduation nights, six out of 10 high school students feel pressure to drink or use drugs. More than eight in 10 teens say that students who drink or use drugs at prom will likely get behind the wheel and drive. Car crashes kill more teens during the weekends of prom and graduation season than any other time of year.
Fact: Three in 10 high school students say they have ridden in a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking during the past month. One in 10 students admits to drinking and driving. The risk of a high school student drinking and driving is cut by more than 70 percent when parents set clear rules and stay involved in their teen’s life.
Fact: Ninety-two percent of 12th graders say it’s easy to get alcohol. More than 50 percent of underage drinkers say the last place they drank alcohol was a friend’s house. Another 30 percent name their own home. Three in four teens say their parents are the main influence on whether or not they drink alcohol.
Fact: Every month, more than 10 million teens drink alcohol. In the past two weeks, one in four high school seniors has participated in binge drinking (having more than five drinks on one occasion). Alcohol is involved in the deaths of more teens than all other illegal substances combined.
The laws in Vermont related to social hosting
• Even if you are on your own property you can be imprisoned 2 years or fined $2,000 if you sell or furnish alcohol to a minor. If you provide a place for underage drinking to occur, you may also be held accountable.
• If a minor who consumed alcohol at the party breaks a law, you may be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
• Parents or other adults may be held responsible if there is property damage, fighting, sexual assault, or any other injury. If someone dies, you may be prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter.
• Adults who sell or furnish to a minor or provide a minor with a place to drink “shall be imprisoned up to five years or fined not more than $10,000 or both” if that minor causes death or serious bodily injury while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway. In other words, the act of furnishing, selling, or enabling can easily become a very expensive felony.
Marijuana use and prescription drugs found in the home are among the two fastest growing areas of drug abuse among teens.
Alcopops and Energy Drinks – dangerous combination
Then there is the dangerously sweet combination in cans that look like energy drinks but contain booze, or both caffeine and liquor. Some brands contain 8 percent alcohol but no caffeine; others have both caffeine and 9.9 percent liquor; others as high as 12 percent liquor, all substantially more than most beers. Because alcohol is a depressant and caffeine is a stimulant, a mix of substances can confuse the nervous system. Rather than feeling tired after drinking booze, the caffeine causes a high, masking the feeling of intoxication. The result? Wired, wide-awake drunks. Many teens will end up drinking 4-7 of these at a time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers it binge drinking when men consume five or more drinks, and when women have four or more drinks in about two hours. Most of the kids do not think that five drinks is binge drinking.
The above was a press release from the Woodstock Police Department.