Parents urged to monitor graduation parties

CARLSBAD — While the end of the school year means graduation parties galore throughout the summer months, the City of Carlsbad Police Department is reminding parents and guardians to keep a close watch for youth who may be under the influence of alcohol. 

The link between alcohol consumption and graduation season is very significant.

In an effort to raise awareness, a recent press release issued by the Carlsbad police department warns this is the time of year that underage drinking peaks and alcohol still remains one of the primary causes of death for minors.

“Let us all work together to prevent these joyous occasions from being marred by alcohol-related tragedies,” Chief of Police Gary W. Morrison said in the press release.

Hosting a graduation party is a great way to celebrate but it also comes with its own accountabilities for the safety of guests.

If minors are drinking alcohol at one of these festivities, parents and guardians are subject to the Social Host Ordinance in tandem with mandatory fines.

Jodee Sasway, public information officer at the city of Carlsbad Police Department, said adults really need to set a good example for their teens.

“If it’s an all-teen party, make sure a responsible adult is monitoring the party, guest list, attendees and activities,” she said. “Consider locking-up your alcohol or removing it from the house.”

Sasway pointed out that discussing expectations with teenagers about promoting an alcohol-free party and the ramifications of not following through with those expectations should be covered.

Sasway wants people to know that if alcohol is discovered, it must be confiscated and the condition of all the teens attending the party must be checked.

“If necessary, seek medical attention for teens that cannot care for themselves,” she said. “And call parents for teens that have consumed alcohol to ensure their safe return home.”

If a teen is attending party at another friend’s house, Sasway said, parents need to follow through by making sure a responsible adult will be in charge and double checking it will be alcohol-free.

Other good parental tactics are implementing a curfew and checking social media sites for party updates.

Sasway said if the party atmosphere is for both teens and adults, there needs to be a responsible adult in charge of the alcohol while making sure teens are not served any.

In addition to keeping teens safe at these parties, Sasway also mentioned to make sure the guests are parking legally by never blocking the roadway or sidewalk.

And if someone is hosting a party, Sasway suggests contacting neighbors ahead of time telling them about the event.

“Ask them to call you if the noise becomes a problem,” she said, noting that noise disturbance falls under a California Penal Code category. “Reduce the noise levels at a reasonable time when families would normally go to bed.”

Sasway shared that even though a newly graduated teen is growing up, staying involved in their lives is extremely important.

“Pay attention to early warning signs that your teen is headed off track. Intervene early and ensure your teens have a safe and happy future,” Sasway said.

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