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Parties with no adult supervision, fake IDs , vodka in water bottles; it’s the worst nightmare of most parents of teens. With the focus on young Hollywood’s drinking and drugs, kids today are left with a skewed image of what’s normal. And, in an effort to be part of the ‘cool crowd’, many kids turn to drugs or alcohol to feel like they fit in. And parents want to help their teens’ self-esteem . So, some parents are starting to provide their children with alcohol to secure that status. What?!?!?

As reported by the National News Desk , a new study confirms that over half of teens have engaged in underage drinking. What’s more surprising is that 1 in 14 received the alcohol from their own parents! As an attorney, I have to step in and emphasize just how much trouble parents can get into. I’ve heard all the excuses from ‘it’s better that she does it now and sees what it’s like’ to ‘at least he’s under my roof and I know what he’s up to.’ You know what? It’s just not worth it.

What’s even worse is when parents don’t just want their kids to be ‘cool,’ they also want to be the ‘cool parents.’ So, they let their kids drink at home…and, hey, why not invite some friends over? At least they’re under your own roof, right? Wrong!!! You don’t know when one of those kids will decide to leave the house. And then you get into the murky waters of not just underage drinking, but drinking and driving .

Just last year, Chicagoland parents were convicted of hosting a party where—allegedly unbeknownst to them—underage drinking occurred. This gathering resulted in tragedy when an auto accident killed two of the teen attendees. There is now an Illinois law that can lead to felony charges in such a situation.

I understand that you’re worried about where they’re going if it’s not your house, and how angry they’re going to be if you put your foot down, but this really is a life or death matter. You’re not just setting a good example as a parent, but also as a citizen. Too many people turn to the argument of ‘ if they’re 18 and can vote, and put their lives on the line in the armed services, then they should be able to drink.’ Okay, then that’s your opinion, but it’s not the law .

So, do the right thing and stand behind the Illinois drinking law . And if you do the right thing and then your kid won’t talk to you for awhile, oh well. At least your kid is alive. And, hopefully, when he’s a little more mature and realizes that you were doing the right thing, he’ll even thank you.

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