YPD tackles underage drinking during this holiday season and beyond

YARMOUTH – In addition to targeting heroin and other illegal drug users and sellers, the Yarmouth Police Department is focusing on providing education and enforcement of the Massachusetts Social Host laws and the nationwide problem of underage drinking; especially during this holiday season.

Nationwide, young people use alcohol more than any other drug, including tobacco. The law in Massachusetts is strong and clear. The legal drinking age in Massachusetts is 21. It is against the law to serve or provide alcohol to underage guests or to allow them to drink alcohol in your home or on other property you control. If you do, you may be prosecuted criminally. The penalty is a fine of up to $2,000, imprisonment for up to a year, or both.  “Furnish” shall mean to knowingly or intentionally supply, give, provide to, or allow to possess alcoholic beverages on premises or property owned or controlled by the person in charge.

You may be financially responsible if your child or underage guest injures another person (or himself) after having consumed alcohol, if you controlled the supply of the alcohol, made it available, or served it. Civil judgments can be for millions of dollars.

As a parent, the things you say and do have tremendous influence on the decisions your child makes—especially when it comes to using alcohol and other drugs. Teens whose parents set rules about alcohol are less likely to drink.

By talking with your children about not using alcohol and other drugs, you can help them make better choices and live safer, healthier lives.

Action Plan for Parents

  • Talk with your children about alcohol. Tell them what will happen if they break your rules about alcohol or other drugs.
  • Have an ongoing discussion about the risks involved.
  • Be involved. Know who, what, where and when.
  • Don’t assume that other parents have the same rules you have.
  • Create a plan with your children about what to do in a risky situation. Texting, calling or going to a safe location are all good ideas.

If you are concerned about someone who may have a problem with alcohol or other drugs, please call for information or treatment options.

Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline 1-800-327-5050

Members of the Yarmouth Police Department Proactive Anti-Crime Unit will be out tonight and at random days and times throughout the remainder of this holiday season in plain clothes working with business leaders and school officials to address and enforce the Massachusetts Laws regarding underage drinking. Anyone with information on illegal house parties or underage drinking is asked to contact the Yarmouth Police Department at 508.775.0445.
Media release furnished by Yarmouth Police

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