EDITORIALS

Don’t aid underage drinking

Staff Writer
Washington Times-Reporter

Despite Washington police arresting several teens for underage drinking, the message does not seem to be getting through.

Washington has been in state news twice now within several months with the party that was advertised on the Internet and now the March 22 arrests.

We do not want to be known for a bunch of drunk teens who do not want to follow the law.

Illinois State Trooper Tony Halseys commended Washingtonians for taking a proactive stance and utilizing the Underage Drinking Hotline.

But there are some in Washington who think it is OK to disregard the law.

Some parents may think it is OK if they allow their teens to drink, as long as it is in their own home.

Wrong. It is still against the law, and those parents simply teachheir teens that if they don’t like a law, then ignore it.

Then there are parents who will actually “host” the party with other teens involved.

Again, the thinking is likely that the teens are, at least, supervised.

It is bad enough people who are of legal drinking age drive drunk. Let’s not add inexperienced teens to the mix.

One parent showed terrible judgement March 9 when, according to police reports obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, he decided to challenge police when they investigated a tip from the hotline. See story on page 1.

it is illegal and irresponsible to allow one’s underage child to drink alcohol.

It is stupid to serve other people’s children with or without their permission.

And, it is arrogant and dangerous to teach teenagers, by example, to disrespect both police and the law.

It is not just the legality that parents should be thinking of.

Alcohol is a drug, and teens’ brains develop until they are into their 20s.

Studies show teen drinking to have serious negative health issues.

So, when parents condone drinking, they risk their child’s health and mental state.

It is a terrible thing to lose a child to any circumstance, but to know you could have done something to prevent it but didn’t would be a guilt we would not wish on anyone.