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Parents should educate children about perils of underage drinking

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Posted: Sunday, June 1, 2008 10:00 pm

As the school year comes to an end, the Lodi Police Department will see a growing number of calls involving underage drinking. While this should be a time of year for our teenagers to celebrate their accomplishments from the year past, their fun can quickly lead to tragedy when it involves alcohol.

According to the NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism), approximately 5,000 people under the age of 21 will die each year in the United States due to alcohol-related incidents. These deaths range from automobile and other alcohol-related accidents to alcohol poisoning and even suicide. Last summer in Lodi, a young girl was rushed to the hospital and admitted to ICU after being found extremely intoxicated in a Downtown alley.

As reported by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), in 2007, 62 percent of eighth-graders in the U.S. reported that it was "very easy" or "fairly easy" to get alcohol, compared to 82.6 percent of tenth-graders and 92.2 percent of twelfth-graders.

You may be asking yourself, "How do young people obtain alcohol?" Here is a list of the most common sources:

• The household liquor cabinet - An easy way to avoid your liquor cabinet becoming the source of underage drinking activity is to make sure you lock all cabinets containing alcoholic beverages.

• Older friends and parents - Many adults and parents feel that it is "no big deal" for underage children to drink. We also hear parents say "I'd rather know where my child is going to be…" or, "They are going to do it anyway…" It is a criminal offense to provide alcohol to minors. Adults that provide alcohol to minors also open themselves to civil liability. Before allowing your child to leave your home, make sure to know where they are going. Talk to the parents of their friends, and make it clear to them that you do not want your child to consume alcohol.

• Strangers - Last summer, Lodi PD conducted a "shoulder tap" sting and arrested six adults who allegedly bought alcohol for undercover Police Cadets who were under 21 years of age. If you suspect someone of providing a minor with alcohol, call Lodi Police immediately.

It is important for parents to educate children on the dangers of underage alcohol consumption. Talking with your children about their plans and setting consistent guidelines will not only help the Lodi Police Department with controlling the problem of underage alcohol consumption, but it could save your child's life. For more information on teen alcohol abuse, see www.stopalcoholabuse.gov.

Any comments, questions or advice for Behind the Badge can be e-mailed to jbiskup@pd.lodi.gov or mailed to Jeanie Biskup, Lodi Police Department, 215 W. Elm Street, Lodi, CA 95240, phone (209)333-6864.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 7:20 am on Mon, Jun 9, 2008.


    I have a simple solution to the problem of teen age drunk driving.1) Lower the drinking age to 162) Raise the driving age to 21

  • posted at 6:52 am on Sat, Jun 7, 2008.


    All perents must remember, that when their perfect kids leave the house, and the door closes behind them, Mom and Dad have no idea what their little darlin is going to do. All they can hope for is that he or she gets home at the time set and in one piece. A call from the PD at 2 AM is a sure sigh that they might not be comming home at all. Ask them to be responsible and hope for the best, thats about all you can do.

  • posted at 10:57 am on Fri, Jun 6, 2008.


    Teach by example, yes! But what is the example? Should we tell our kids not to drink? Absolutely not. Kids will be kids and the majority will experiment. The lesson here is how much is healthy and appropriate and most importantly, not driving after drinking. Talk to your kids. Know who they are with and where they are and let them know you will pick them up if they have tried alcohol. The communication between parent and child is many times very broken and that leads to many more real problems in society. Please do not read this wrong. I am not saying encourage your child to drink, but I am saying keep an open mind and line of communication. If something is taboo, teenagers want it more.

  • posted at 6:50 pm on Wed, Jun 4, 2008.


    dogbark wrote "The one's that don't die from alcohol poisoning or DUI crshes are well on their way to alcoholism in their adult life. Fact."dogbark: Are the adults you saw at "Raley's last Friday" that were loading up "with Johnny and Jack, wine, beer and wine" the alcoholics you speak of? dogbark wrote "These are the same folks that will argue that it is legal for their kids to drink under their own roof"dogbark: Actually I think there are parents that drink a lot on the weekends, even getting drunk, and at the same time turn to their kids and say don't drink, son/daughter. Teach by example. Don't you agree?

  • posted at 5:47 am on Tue, Jun 3, 2008.



  • posted at 4:32 am on Tue, Jun 3, 2008.


    so I go into Raley's last Friday and a lot of people are pushing carts loaded up with Johnny and Jack, wine, beer and wine cooler sissy stuff. These are the same folks that will argue that it is legal for their kids to drink under their own roof (it ain't.) The one's that don't die from alcohol poisoning or DUI crshes are well on their way to alcoholism in their adult life. Fact.

  • posted at 1:26 pm on Mon, Jun 2, 2008.


    I guess all the parents that kept their kids away from the downtown theater on weekends nights forgot about the young girl that almost died from alcohol poisoning. It is us business owners that have to clean up our walks after the friday and saturday night kids get done tearing up the down town. Mind your kids parents.

  • posted at 8:14 am on Mon, Jun 2, 2008.


    Couldn't be those innocent wine bottles sitting everywhere in this wine-driven town could it? Or those meds in the cabinets and hidden in familiar hiding places? If the AMA investigated the amounts of narcotic, stress related and diet pills written by many of these physicians here, most would be sanctioned from writing any for 6 months. Everyone I know is on some kind of pain or mood altering drug from the pharmacy, including myself. As long as you're willing to spring for that $150 or so office call, you ask for it and you got it. The sad thing is it'll never go away and effects every family in some way. You don't even have to be poor to be taken by these addictive potions.


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