For most Minnesota high schools, prom season has already come and gone. But the risks of underage drinking, DWI arrests and crashes are still upon us. Why? Because high school graduations are just around the corner. In fact, Hopkins seniors graduate today, and next week, it is Minnetonka seniors’ turns to say goodbye to their high school careers.
For some teens, that goodbye includes underage drinking, which can result in tragedy as well as legal complications. The problems associated with teen alcohol use are why students from various Hennepin County schools participated in organized efforts to prevent underage drinking.
According to a report last month from the Star Tribune, both Minnetonka High School and Hopkins High School are utilizing different programs to keep alcohol out of the hands of celebrating teens.
- Hopkins’ program is called “Sticker Shock.” Teens put warning stickers on certain products in liquor stores that are popular among underage drinkers. The stickers are meant to remind adults to keep alcohol out of underage teens’ hands. They should not give into the idea that it’s better for teens to drink around adults and, therefore, host teen drinking parties.
- Minnetonka also used the “Sticker Shock” program. Along with that effort, the high school’s “Reveal What’s Real” campaign addresses another key factor that leads to underage drinking and DWI cases. Many kids decide to drink due to peer pressure and the misperception that most teens drink alcohol. According to supporters behind the campaign, the majority of teens don’t engage in underage drinking.
Though the Minnesota schools’ various campaigns could definitely help curb underage drinking, it’s crucial for parents to take an active role in monitoring their teens’ actions and protecting their safety.
It would be naïve to ignore the point that, yes, many teens do make mistakes. Maybe you have been cited for underage drinking before, and your teen very well could face that reality, too. If that happens, it is not always in someone’s best interest to give in and plead guilty to drunk driving.
Star Tribune: “Hopkins sticker campaign aims to prevent underage drinking,” Kelly Smith, 3 May 2011