Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Eve an OK time to let minors drink?

Awhile back, I was working on story about underage drinking and how a grassroots group was trying to amend Ohio’s “Social Host Law,” in an effort to hold parents more accountable for allowing alcohol use by minors.

I tried to get a pulse on how parents and other adults feel about underage drinking by posing this question on my personal and the News-Herald’s Facebook accounts: Is it OK to allow your minor child a glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve.

Since that holiday is upon us — and I didn’t end up using the info in my story — I thought I’d share some of the responses here and now:

From the News-Herald site:
Joe Simonetti  — A sip, no more.

Rebecca J. Wells — As long as the child is with parents, it is acceptable for them to have a glass of champagne.

Larry Puskas — Absolutely wrong. Would you give them a beer on their birthday?

Carie Beckwith Campbell — I think it depends on the age and the child.

Kathy Brownfield Dalton — Depends on the age...I have twin 18 year olds. Just went on a cruise to celebrate their birthdays and we let them have their first drink in the foreign ports where they are considered “legal.” They were with us (their parents) and as far as I’m concerned they are responsible adults.

From my page:
Ed Bonchak (Euclid Community Policing Officer and former DARE officer) — No one under the age of 21 is allowed to possess or consume any alcohol in any public or private place, unless the underage person is accompanied by a parent, spouse who is not an underage person, or legal guardian. Also anyone under the age of 18 is not allowed to possess or consume any low-alcohol beverage in any public or private place, unless accompanied by a parent, spouse who is not an underage person, or legal guardian.
Bottom line...You can offer your kid a glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve, as long as you are in his/her presence. Important note...I would not do it with his/her’s friends around. It might send the wrong message!

Charlene Martorana — With all the festive, sparkling ciders and juices, why would you have to?

Shelley Zeiger Evans — Why on earth would any parent want to promote drinking alcohol...I believe this law should be black and white not gray. You should be 21 to consume alcohol period. We send the wrong message to our young people when we promote laws with all the “ifs ands or buts”...

For more on underage drinking stats & the proposed Social Host Law amendment, visit

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's definitely way more sensible for kids to go to college and learn drinking habits from their peers...wait what?

December 29, 2011 at 5:23 PM 
Blogger herbalmom said...

My personal opinion is that if there is a holiday toast with responible adults around, then fine. However, if people are inebriated I dont believe a child should even be a part of the celebration. Showing our children that its ok to overindulge is very irresponsible on our part as parents and role models.

December 29, 2011 at 6:55 PM 

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