Greater Washington Nonprofit Urges Parental Involvement This Summer In Preventing Teen Drinking
Falls Church, VA, June 8– Citing the fact that summer’s arrival also ushers in that contiguous period (May – August) when the greatest number of U.S. teen traffic deaths occur, a Washington-metropolitan area alcohol education group is urging for parental involvement to combat both teen drinking and drunk driving this summer.
The Falls Church-based, nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is providing area parents of teens with “Tips for Parents.” WRAP’s tips, designed to inform Greater Washington parents on how best to deter teen drinking during the dangerous summer months, include:
- Talk with Your Teen…Studies time and time again have confirmed that parents can have a significant – if not most significant – impact as to whether their teens will engage in risky behaviors including the use of alcohol. Have open, caring, thoughtful, ongoing conversations on alcohol with your teen. Create clear family rules and expectations by setting a “no alcohol” rule and supporting such an environment with “zero-tolerance” consequences if such rules are broken.
- Lay Down the Law…The District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia all have zero tolerance laws making it a crime to possess, purchase or consume alcohol if you are under 21.
- Beware of Your Civil Liability…In most cases, it’s unlawful for parents to allow their children’s friends to consume alcohol in their home. If these same “friends” are later involved in a crash, the providing parents may be responsible for injuries, property damages, and wrongful death. These same parents may also face criminal charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
“In 2018, an average of nine teenagers died in U.S. motor vehicle crashes every single day during the summer months,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, WRAP’s President. “For too many parents, unfortunately, summer’s unstructured time may also be a deadly time for their teenage children and their friends.”
In 2017, 24-percent of young drivers (ages 15 to 20 years old) killed in U.S. crashes had been drinking (with a blood alcohol concentration [BAC] level of 0.01 grams/deciliter or higher according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). That same year, one-in-five (20%) young drivers killed in U.S. traffic crashes has a BAC of 0.08 g/dL or higher.
“Make no mistake about it, parents play an integral role in when and if their children drink alcohol,” said Erickson. “These tips are simply meant to reinforce their efforts to foster a healthy and safe summer for them and their teenage children.”
Founded in 1982, the nonprofit [501(c)(3)] Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is a coalition of diverse interests using effective education, innovative programs and targeted advocacy to end alcohol-impaired driving and underage drinking in the Washington, DC metro area. Through public education, innovative health education programs and advocacy, WRAP is credited with keeping the metro-Washington area’s alcohol-related traffic deaths historically lower than the national average. WRAP, however, may best be known to area residents via the organization’s popular free safe ride service for would-be drunk drivers, SoberRide®. For more information, visit WRAP’s web site at www.wrap.org.
1 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration / Fatality Analysis Reporting System (2018 below)