NORTH CAROLINA (WSPA) – Less than half of North Carolina parents think that underage drinking is a problem, that’s according to a study conducted by Talk It Out NC. That’s why they’re aiming to raise awareness about the consequences of underage drinking.
According to the Alcohol and Beverage Commission, the starting age for underage drinkers in North Carolina is only 14 years old. That’s why officials in state of North Carolina are sponsoring an initiative aimed at cracking down on underage drinking.
“When young people start drinking the drinking is usually at dangerous levels and heaven forbid something happens while they are on your property and they’re consuming alcohol. We’re talking about major risks legally as well as civil,” Rodney Poole, Program Coordinator for the Education Division of the North Carolina ABC Commission, said.
In the state of North Carolina, 94% of students said underage drinking is a problem. 8 out of 10 middle schoolers said conversations with parents could prevent underage drinking.
According to the commission, some schools across the state are cancelling prom this year due to COVID-19 causing more parents to host their own at-home proms. Officials urge parents to keep a close eye out for signs of intoxicated teens.
“Monitor parties. Maybe not be right there on the dance floor but at least in the area and making sure that if people are coming they’re not leaving and coming back. Pay attention, ask questions and be a supervisor,” Poole said.
The Talk It Out initiative was launched in 2014 and their mission remains to educate teens and parents about the consequences of underage drinking.
Consequences include jail time for parents, scholarships and leadership positions taken away for teens. In some situations, underage drinking could stop teens from being able to get a drivers’ license.
Officials encourage parents to sit down and talk with their teens about the dangers of alcohol.
“Think about when we use to go to Chuck-e-Cheese. We used to have a blast and there was no alcohol. Encourage young people to realize that they can have a good time without drinking,” Poole said, “There are just a number of negative consequences that could happen so let’s minimize those risks and just take alcohol out of the equation.”
Click here for more information on how you can help crack down on underage drinking.