Cop Corner

By Officer Ken McNeill
Pleasanton Police Department

If you are the parent of a teenager, the odds are stacked against you when it comes to teens and alcohol. Nearly 60 percent of teens say they have had an alcoholic drink in the past year. However, only 30 percent of parents believe that their child drinks, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

When it comes to teens drinking alcohol, don’t be deceived. Teenagers everywhere are constantly exposed to environments where alcohol is made easily available to them. If your son or daughter makes the wrong choice, the consequences could be both damaging and permanent. When teenagers and alcohol mix, the outcome is never positive.

Remember, it is against the law for anyone under 21 years old to consume or possess alcohol, even on private property. Despite the law and the constant, ubiquitous warnings, the reality is that many teenagers still have no problem finding alcohol.

Adults continue to allow minors to drink by selling them alcohol through poor business practices, by providing or purchasing the alcohol for them or by simply looking the other way when their child or their friends talk openly about their drinking exploits.

If you or your child is caught hosting a party with underage drinking, you as a parent could face heavy fines and even be arrested. If officers suspect a group of teenagers is drinking alcohol in your house, police have the legal right to enter and investigate. If your child is caught drinking or under the influence of alcohol at school or at a school function, they could face severe consequences, including being banned from future school events or suspended from school.

Please teach your child now to understand the damage that underage drinking can do, and don’t enable them by turning a blind eye to something you think is OK because “all teenagers drink.”  All teenagers don’t drink. And neither should yours.

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Thank you to Officer Ken McNeill for providing this valuable service to the Foothill community.