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Prom and graduation parties can lead to alcohol-related charges

Prom and graduation parties can lead to alcohol-related charges

Each spring brings certain events that are generally associated with an increase in potential underage drinking or alleged drunk driving incidents involving high school and college age kids. At the high school level, many students participate in events surrounding prom that can lead to underage consumption or possession charges, underage drinking and driving and drunk driving charges.

As this blog recently discussed, drivers under the age of 21 who may be driving while impaired can potentially face both underage drinking and driving and DWI charges in Minnesota.

Alongside the number of parties that may be thrown surrounding high school prom, the spring brings a great number of end-of-school and graduation parties for high school and college students. Again, many students can get caught up in the criminal justice system surrounding these spring events. A recent study shows that teenagers today are more aware of the dangers of alcohol than teens from just a decade ago.

The study, conducted by the Century Council, a not-for-profit organization funded by distillers to fight underage consumption and drunk driving, says that 83 percent of people between the ages of 10 and 18 say that communication with their parents about alcohol has been the main influence behind their decision to avoid alcohol. That is a 28 percent jump from statistics recorded in 2003.

Parental discussions about alcohol generally follow some real-world incident, according to the study. The top three things that act as a catalyst for a talk include:

  • A tragedy reported in the news
  • A story line in a movie, or something appearing on television
  • Someone else who a parent or student knows is busted for an alcohol-related offense

Despite increased awareness of alcohol issues, many students may still face criminal charges during the spring in Minnesota. It is important for students and parents to remember that underage alcohol or drunk driving charges are merely allegations, and any defendant in Minnesota has the right to challenge those allegations in court.

Source: Keloland Television, “More Teens, Parents Discussing Alcohol Risks,” Shawn Neisteadt, April 4, 2012

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