Warnings About Underage Drinking

This time of year teens receive the stark reminder that drinking and driving can kill. But sometimes saying, "No" isn't enough. Garrison Independent School District Police Chief Nikki Smith warns her students that, "There's a lot of things that can happen to them when they're around other people that are drinking." Just being around irresponsible drinking can lead to assault, rape, murder and unprotected sex.

Still some teens take the risk. Nacogdoches 11th grader Janesha Ervin said, "Most of the young people my age they want to try to drink alcohol because it's fun and you can just have fun but really it gets you in danger."

In addition it's against the law. Lt. Brian Williams with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said, "You could possibly go to jail. Your looking at a substantial fine, community service, alcohol awareness classes and you can lose your driver's license."

Teens aren't the only ones receiving advice this time of year. So are parents. Nacogdoches Safe and Drug Free spokesperson Janet McElroy advises parents to, "Make sure you know where your children are during these events. Know who they're with. Know the parents that they're with. Know their activities is planned out. It's times that kids get a little freedom and they think they know the right choice but parents really need to know there are things going on."

And most of all don't be naive about underage drinking. "The age of onset in Nacogdoches County is around 10 or 11 so parents that think their kids are not doing this behavior might be mistaken and need to make sure they talk to their kids about it," said McElroy.

McElroy is pleased with the efforts by volunteers, businesses, schools and law enforcement that help the agency throughout the year introduce drug and alcohol awareness to young people. NSDF presented numerous awards to key leaders for their help during the year.