Lufkin dad wants adults held responsible for teen drinking wreck

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - What should have been a night of teenage fun turned into one parent's worst nightmare.

"My son was in a place where he wasn't supposed to be," said the teen's father, Michael Odell.

Odell says his son called from a prom party to break the news his car was wrecked. When Odell arrived at the house, he says teens were drinking. Most shocking, he says adults were there, but no one called to report the accident.

"Nobody had my permission to have my son drink. I would be willing to bet that the majority of children that were there at that location, parents had no idea that they were there. It's a deceitful situation that the children may have concocted, but the adults that were present either supported or didn't realize," said Odell.

Maci Herrington of The Angelina Coalition says underage drinking is never a good idea, even if it's in the "safety" of an adult's presence.

"Kids that drink in safe environment are probably going to drink other times also. They're not always going to be with you. They're not always going to be at your house, and by enabling it there, it's just making it more likely to happen when you're not around," said Herrington.

Odell's son was ticketed for consumption of a minor, but they're going to court to fight it.

"My son told me that he had not had anything to drink," said Odell.

As a father, Odell feels adults should be the ones protecting teens from dangers.

"Teens that drink alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to become dependent later in life," said Herrington.

While the teen drinking rate has dropped off in recent years, health professionals tell KTRE teen drinking peaks in the summer months.

Officers filed a non-reportable crash form on scene, citing that no one was injured and damages were less than one thousand dollars. Odell says his son is the only one he knows of was ticketed on scene, and he also says was not drinking. The car has been repaired and Odell intends to continue fighting the citation in court.

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