Public Notice from Department of Youth and Family Services: Enjoy Prom & Graduation Season

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Enjoy Prom& Graduation Season
But remember, this can be both a wonderful time of year, as
well as a time of increased risk for teens. In fact, the highest
risk of first-time alcohol use occurs in the Prom& Graduation
season.

Here are some ways to keep your family safe:

• Talk openly about substance use with your teen. Be clear
that you do not want your teen to use alcohol or other
drugs. Talk about ways to have fun without drinking or
using drugs.

• Talk about the risks of substance use and establish clear
family rules and expectations about substance use, driving,
and curfew.

• Be sure they understand the consequences of violating the
rules.

• Talk about peer pressure, ways to say no to substance use,
and strategies for avoiding tricky situations with peers.

• Provide your support and encouragement. Acknowledge
that the teen years are both wonderful and challenging.

Praise their good decisionmaking and let themknow you are there when they need you.

Preventing Underage Drinking:

Understanding the Social Host Law
A SOCIAL HOST is anyone (adult orminor) who is in control of the
premises (including your home, a hotel room, or other setting) and
who furnishes alcohol or allows it to be consumed on those premises.

The LEGAL DRINKING AGE in Massachusetts is 21. It is against
the law to serve or provide alcohol to underage guests or to allow them
to drink alcohol in your home or on other property you control. If you
do, youmay be PROSECUTED CRIMINALLY. The penalty is a fine
of up to $2,000, imprisonment for up to a year, or both.

You may be FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE if your child or
underage guest injures another person (or himself) after having
consumed alcohol at your home, if you controlled the supply of the
alcohol, made it available, or served it. Civil judgments can be for
millions of dollars.

If your child allows underage guests to drink or possess alcohol at your
home, you or your child may be CHARGED CRIMINALLY OR
SUED CIVILLY. The costs of litigation and any judgement against
you or your child may or may not be covered by your homeowner’s
policy, especially if the underage drinker causes injury or death by use
of an automobile. Many insurance policies do not cover situations
where criminal conduct is involved.