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Sobering thoughts about North Carolina underage drinking

It’s the last week of the year and it leads to the very last holiday of 2018. Raleigh high school students are on their winter break and that means they might have the opportunity to engage in underage drinking.

The North Carolina state-sponsored Talk It Out NC to reduce underage alcohol consumption says this is the time of year when drinking – both of age and underage – is at its highest. That means the risk of being injured in alcohol-related motor vehicle crash is greater than it has been since last New Year’s Eve.

Talk It Out NC says that according to a study of hospitals around the nation, almost 2,000 underage teens will spend the first day of the new year in a hospital because of alcohol consumption. The same study says more than 10 percent of teens will drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs on New Year’s Eve.

Many of those underage will find their own ways of obtaining alcohol for New Year’s Eve, but many will also find various forms of alcohol in their own homes or in the homes of family friends as they attend holiday parties.

That means it’s the perfect time for adults to take steps to ensure that teens and tweens don’t drink at those parties. Here in North Carolina, an adult who allows a minor to drink alcohol – or if the adult “should have known” that underage people were drinking in their home – can face criminal charges. If someone gets hurt or dies because minors were drinking in someone’s home, the adult could be sued and held liable for damages.

Don’t take the chance: secure your alcohol and talk to your kids about the dangers of drinking and driving.

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