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Parents Urged To Discuss Underage Drinking Before Summer

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Chesterfield, VA—As graduations and summer parties approach, parents are being urged to have a frank discussion with teens about the dangers of underage drinking.

So far in 2013, police in our area have been busy issuing dozens of underage drinking citations.

In Chesterfield, 152 have been written. Henrico Police have written 79 citations, and 25 have been issued by Richmond Police.

As the weather gets warmer, these numbers are expected to rise. Wayne Frith, Executive Director of SAFE, explains,

"Drinking alcohol is sort of a rite of passage associated with being a senior in high school."

Although many may view underage drinking as a rite of passage, Frith says it is a dangerous practice that should be discouraged.

"Our love affair with alcohol, our sort of acceptance as a culture norm is leading us down a dangerous road."

Experts say that in almost every case involving underage drinking, somewhere along the way, an adult broke the law.

"Whether they gave them the alcohol or purchased it for them, the grown up is responsible," Frith says.

Parents like Teresa Summerhill are worried about teens drinking, and are taking proactive measure to make sure their kids stay safe.

"They call me if anyone is drinking somewhere they have to call me I come get them no matter what time it is." 

Experts say parents should talk with teens and set rules. Summerhill agrees, and says the bottom line is safety.

"You don't want your daughter or your son to get in a car with someone whose been drinking."

Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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