Giving alcohol to any teen is against the law. Parents who allow teens to drink at parties to try to prevent drunk driving are still breaking the law. If a teen were to leave your alcohol-allowed party and commit a DUI or kill someone, you are responsible under the law.
How can you provide a hip, safe, alcohol-free party for your teen?
- Decide what part of the house or property will be used and what will be off-limits.
- Make a guest list with their parents' phone numbers. Keep this list handy by the phone during the party.
- Send out invitations telling about the party's theme if there is one.
- Set up party and behavior rules with your teen.
- Write down what happens if the rules are broken.
- Work out what you will do as the host and discuss with your teen ways to handle potential problems.
- Role-play with your teen different situations so that you can handle any situation that comes up.
- Tell neighbors there will be a party, including the date and time the party will begin and end. Be sure the party ends on time.
- Follow up with neighbors about any problems they had with the party. If any damage was done in the neighborhood, be sure to pay for repairing it.
- Make sure your guests know that there is to be no alcohol or drugs at the party. It is against the law and you could be prosecuted.
- If a guest arrives who has obviously been drinking or using drugs or decides to use some during the party, call that person's parents and ask them to come and get their teen.
- Lock up any alcohol or prescription drugs in a location that is off-limits for the party. Serve plenty of soft drinks, water, and food.
If your teen is going to a party, here are some tips for you.
- Ask your teen for the name, address, and phone number of the person giving the party.
- Call the parent of the person giving the party to make sure the information is right, that an adult will be home during the entire party, and that no alcohol or drugs will be allowed.
- Ask your teen to tell you if the party changes location or is canceled.
- Make sure your teen has a safe, dependable way to get to and from the party.
- Have a backup plan in case the other ride falls through.
- Agree on a time when your teen will come home.
- Always be available for your teen.
- Give your teen a cell phone to use in case of an emergency.
- Tell your teen to call home if he or she doesn't like what is going on at the party, or if the party gets of out of control.
- Practice helping your teen say no if he or she is offered alcohol and drugs.
- Ask your teen to call you before he or she leaves party.
When it comes to safe partying and avoiding DUIs, if you fail to plan, plan to fail!