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High school celebrations and DUI

High school celebrations and DUI

As the weather in Minnesota finally transitions from the long winter to reliably warm spring days, high school students near the dates of prom and high school graduation and graduation parties. For some, high school prom and graduation parties are a rite of passage where underage drinking occurs. The reality is that a season of celebration that throws alcohol into the mix can result in danger, death and DUI.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the months when many high school proms and high school graduations occur, April, May and June, are also the months when drinking and driving accidents are at their highest. In addition, car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers and nearly 40 percent of teenage car accidents are caused by alcohol.

Often, parents believe that supervision will reduce the danger associated with underage drinking but research on binge drinking shows that heavy alcohol consumption can produce negative long-term effects. According to the National Institutes of Health the region of the brain that controls risky behavior is not fully developed until age 25. Further, teens who begin drinking at age 15 are four times more likely to form a dependence on alcohol than individuals who start drinking at age 21.

Finally, experts say that open and regular dialogue between parents and teenagers helps teens form better choices. If parents create expectations, then teens are less likely to engage in dangerous behavior including drinking and driving. This spring let us help all the young people in our communities celebrate their achievements beyond graduation.

Source: Courierpress.com, “Prom, graduation seasons accelerates dangers of underage drinking, drugs,” Nichole White, 4/4/11

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