We Don’t Serve Teens Week urges parents to speak up and discourage underage drinking
Olympia…Governor Chris Gregoire and Attorney General Rob McKenna, in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission , will participate in this week’s national campaign, “We Don’t Serve Teens.”
The campaign’s goal is to help parents recognize that they have support in their efforts to keep their children from drinking alcohol before they turn 21 and to remind adults who provide alcohol to minors that it is against the law.
“Those who provide alcohol to teens are undermining parents’ efforts to protect their children and they are also breaking the law,” McKenna said. “Our message is simple. Don’t serve alcohol to teens. It’s unsafe. It’s illegal. It’s irresponsible.”
The campaign focuses on the social sources that may provide teens with access to alcohol. With students back in school, football games on Friday nights and school dances, students may be subject to more peer pressure and temptation to engage underage drinking, putting them at risk for car accidents, risky sexual behavior and future alcohol abuse problems.
“As a mother, I know parents do what they can to protect their kids and keep them safe,” Gregoire said. “I encourage Washington citizens and communities to work with local businesses and government agencies to reduce our kids’ access to alcohol.”
Most teens who drink alcohol obtain it from “social” sources, including parents of other teens, older siblings, and other relatives and friends. In a 2003 survey of drinkers ages 10 to 18, 65 percent said the source was family members or friends. Some took alcohol from their own home or a friend's home without permission; in other cases, adults, siblings, or friends provided the alcohol.
The “We Don’t Serve Teens” campaign’s centerpiece is www.dontserveteens.gov, a website sponsored by a coalition of public and private sector organizations. For more information on stopping teens’ easy access to alcohol, practical tips on talking to kids about alcohol and alcohol advertising, and what to say to friends and neighbors about serving alcohol to teens, visit www.dontserveteens.gov.
Media Contact: Ryan Shannon, Media Relations Manager, (360) 753-2727
Governor’s Communications Office, (360) 902-4136