The Park Record editorial, May 11-13, 2011 |

The Park Record editorial, May 11-13, 2011

Park City: Help teens stay safe and sober on prom night

Parents who imbibe walk a difficult line when advising their children about the dangers of drinking alcohol, especially when those children become teenagers. The issue can become particularly prickly when there is something special to celebrate like prom night.

Park City High School’s big event is this Saturday and it marks the beginning of a month of festivities around the state marking the end of the school year. North and South Summit graduation ceremonies, each presumably followed by parties, both sanctioned and not, take place May 26. Park City’s graduation is June 10.

These are happy occasions and, for some, that calls for a glass of champagne or some other alcoholic beverage. Unfortunately, though, according to national statistics, teens are twice as likely to be involved in alcohol-related car crashes on prom night.

According to state law, minors may not consume alcohol and those who provide them with illegal beverages are equally culpable. In the strictest of terms that includes chaperoned parties at private homes. However, in the good old days, it was common for parents, teachers and law enforcement to turn their heads on prom night — to scold in public and condone in private. But in those days kids didn’t wear seat belts either and tragic headlines about fatal car wrecks involving teens in tuxes were all too common.

This year a coalition of students and local businesses is taking a stand against underage drinking. According to their research, kids look to their parents as role models when it comes to drinking. So they are asking for community buy-in to help local teens navigate this risky time of life.

So, even though The Park Record spends most of the year battling archaic agencies like state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board for easier access to adult beverages, on the issue of underage drinking we encourage everyone to join the Park City Prevention Awareness Coalition in keeping our teens safe and sober.

This Saturday, if someone with big puppy dog eyes approaches you outside the liquor store and asks you to buy "just one little bottle of wine," if your teen asks to have beer at the after-party, or if you hear about an unchaperoned party at an unoccupied house in an unfamiliar location blow the whistle

Let’s stick together on this one. This month, wherever teens are gathering to celebrate, lock the liquor cabinet, make sure older brothers and sisters or friends are not making runs to the liquor store and support business owners who are diligent about checking IDs.

Call us totally uncool. That’s fine. But know this we are completely committed to our awesome kids.

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