Huntington Students Caught Drinking Before Class

By Ramonica R. Jones

A group of Huntington High School students were caught drinking on campus Thursday morning before class. Teen experimentation with alcohol and drugs usually increases during the summer, but that doesn't make the consequences any less severe.

Research shows, teens who drink are more likely to develop an addiction as an adult. Underage drinking can also lead to other risky behavior, because of alcohol's affect on good judgment.

Phyllis Grandgeorge of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council says, "It can cause severe problems such as driving while intoxicated, unwanted pregnancy (or) sexually transmitted diseases. Not just the drinking alone is something that we try to get parents to be aware of, or the teenagers to be aware of, there're a lot of legal problems and a lot of emotional problems that go along with underage drinking."

The penalty for underage drinking varies. It often depends on where the crime was committed and whether it's a teen's first offense.

"They may have to take an alcohol awareness class (or) do some community service," Grandgeorge says. "They probably would have to pay a fine and sometimes, depending on the severity, the fine is higher."

Grandgeorge says most teens get their first taste of booze from a buddy. She also says underage drinkers often have parents who also drink, proving that actions speak louder than words.

The father of one of the Huntington teenagers says police issued citations for public intoxication. He says he's unsure if the students will be allowed to return to class next week.