ALEA urges parents to patrol alcohol, tobacco use by teens

By LEA RIZZO, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 6/24/17

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is warning parents to be involved and communicate with their children this summer in order to prevent underage use of alcohol or tobacco.

In Alabama, individuals must be 21 or older to consume alcoholic …

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ALEA urges parents to patrol alcohol, tobacco use by teens

Posted

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is warning parents to be involved and communicate with their children this summer in order to prevent underage use of alcohol or tobacco.

In Alabama, individuals must be 21 or older to consume alcoholic beverages and 19 and older to use tobacco products.

“Parental involvement is key,” said Lt. Darick Wilson, an agent with the State Bureau of Investigation’s Alcohol/Tobacco Enforcement Division. “Some parents may not realize just how important a role they play in preventing underage use of alcohol and tobacco.”

State Trooper spokesman Johnathan Appling said it’s important for parents to know who their children are hanging out with and where they are.

“It helps give kids the guidance they need to make good decisions,” said Appling. “That parental involvement could be the difference between kids having the opportunity to go do something [they shouldn’t] and not.”

In a press release from ALEA, Wilson offered tips that can help parents protect their children from underage alcohol and tobacco use, including:

•talk to your children and listen to them. Ask about their plans and insist they inform you if those plans change.

•frequently check your teenager’s bank accounts for unusual activity.

•inspect their wallets, purses and backpacks and look out for fake IDs.

•keep alcohol or tobacco products in the home locked up and closely monitor your inventory.

•look for changes in your child’s behavior.

Appling stressed that parents showing concern for what their children are doing doesn’t mean they’re bad kids, but rather that it is a matter of accountability.

He said that he’s seen situations during his career where kids have been hurt or even killed, and their parents didn’t know where their kids were or who they were with.

“You’ll never know for sure but, in some of the situations, it raises the question, ‘If the parents knew where the kids were, if they’d have known what the kids were doing, would it have gotten to the point where someone got hurt?’” Appling added.