New Philadelphia, Ohio – The Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition and Prevention Action Alliance are asking parents to make the right call by not supplying their teens with alcohol.

Coalition Coordinator Jodi Salvo says parents and guardians supplying alcohol is one of the leading factors behind underage drinking and binge drinking. Salvo says studies show that alcohol consumption by adolescents results in brain damage and impairs intellectual development. She says children who start drinking alcohol before 7th grade are also more likely to report academic problems, substance abuse, and delinquent behavior. 

“As parents and guardians, we have a responsibility to protect our kids and encourage safe behaviors and decisions that lead to a successful future," she says. "Allowing them to drink underage undermines our entire purpose.”

Salvo says providing children and teens with alcohol or supporting alcohol-fueled underage parties is not only ethically inappropriate, but it's also illegal. She says parents can be charged for providing alcohol to their teen's underage friends, even in their own home with the parents' permission. 

Salvo says parents who break the law can face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. She says parents can also be sued if the underage person they provided alcohol to hurts themselves or someone else or causes damage to someone's property.

The groups offer the following suggestions to help parents and guardians prevent underage alcohol use:

  • Refuse to supply alcohol to anyone under 21.
  • Be at home when your teen has a party.
  • Make sure that alcohol is not brought into your home or on your property by your teen’s friends. 
  • Talk to other parents about not providing alcohol at other events your child will be attending.
  • Create alcohol-free opportunities and activities in your home so teens will feel welcome. 
  • Report underage drinking to law enforcement.

For more information, contact Jodi Salvo at 330-440-7319.