Teen graduation party patrols planned this weekend

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DrunkDrivingSEATTLE- This is the last week of school for many districts in our area, and that means graduation parties and teen drinking.

Police call Memorial to Labor Day the “100 deadliest days’ on our roads in Washington.  Just last week, Tumwater Police arrested 35 teens and a grandmother for furnishing alcohol to minors.

“Some parents may think if you provide alcohol in your home it means they’re going to be safer.  Studies show kids who drink at home drink more often and in larger quantities away from home,” said Amy Ezzo with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

A study by the National Institute on Alcohol abuse shows 75 percent of all high school seniors say they have tried alcohol.  Of those, nearly half have had a drink in the last month and one in three teens admit being a passenger in a car driven by someone who has been drinking.

“It’s important they feel they can call and get a safe ride home and someone will be there for them.  No matter what your family rules are, helping them understand you’re their parents and want their child to call and not worry about what’s going to happen once you get home is so important,” said Ezzo.

Law enforcement in Pierce, King and Snohomish Counties plan teen party patrols this weekend.

Here are some helpful tips from MADD for parents:

1. Communicate before a problem starts.

  • Have important discussions now, before there’s blaming, anger or punishments.
  • Agree on a time to start talking together about the dangers of alcohol.

2. Show you care.

  • Gently touch your teen on the arm or back to show affection.
  • Tell your teens you love them and want them to be healthy and safe. Explain that’s why you need to talk together about the dangers of underage drinking.

3. Discuss rules and consequences.

  • Explain how you expect your son or daughter to act, and why.
  • Tell your teen plainly that you don’t want him or her drinking.

4. Pay attention.

  • Even when life gets hectic, take time out to listen to your teen.
  • Monitor where your teen is and what your teen is doing, constantly.

5. Share family activities.

  • Have dinner together at least three times a week.

6. Give and get respect.

  • When your teen talks to you, listen and reply respectfully.
  • Insist that your teen treat you with respect, too.

7. Enforce consequences consistently.

  • If your teen breaks the rules, stay calm and enforce the consequences

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