Graduation season is here and that means graduation night celebrations for many teens in Naples and Collier County. For parents who think they are being responsible by hosting parties instead of having children celebrate elsewhere, you should know that you can be held responsible for what comes after the party—teen DUIs, accidents and injuries.
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office warns parents that underage drinking that takes place on their property could result in criminal and civil penalties. Some ideas for parents to help teens stay safe after graduation include the following.
- Speak to the parents of your teen’s friends. Let them know your expectations of your child and theirs. Ask them about their own expectations as well.
- Make sure your teen understands the rules for graduation night, including how often to check in, curfews, where not to go and any other guidelines you have.
- Ask for information. Know who is driving and where your teen and his or her friends are going to be.
- Ensure your teen takes a cell phone along for emergencies. Make sure you have the numbers of his friends’ phones too.
- Let your teen know you will wait up for him or her to get home.
It bears repeating again and again, so remind your youth about the dangers of alcohol and drugs and warn them not to get in a car driven by anyone who has had either. Let them know they can call you no matter the time for a safe ride home for them and their friends.
If you want to take a more active role, volunteer to supervise graduation events instead of hosting a party. This gives you a reason for being on-site, which can influence your teen and his or her behavior. But do not wait until graduation to discuss alcohol and drugs and the ramifications of misusing them. Talk to your teen often and openly about the subject. Taking away the mystery of illegal substances often lessens their appeal.
This article has general information about underage drinking and should not be considered legal advice.