Easy Teen Alcohol Access Blamed For Auto Deaths

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Deaths of two teens last weekend in Charlotte drinking and driving wrecks underscore the fact that it is easy for young people to get alcohol, and some adults make it easier, says the Charlotte Observer. “Ninety-five percent of these crashes are preventable,” said Sgt. Ricky Robbins of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s traffic safety unit. “That’s what aggravates me the most. These young people didn’t have to die.”

Most teens get alcohol through adults, by using fake identification to buy it themselves, or at house parties. “I think (parents) know what’s going on, I just don’t think they know how to deal with it. And I’m one of them,” said the father of a recent high school graduate. One recent graduate said it’s easy for teens to get alcohol. “Everyone has fake IDs now.” People buy them over the Internet or from friends who make them on computers. Or they use driver’s licenses from older siblings, who claim theirs were lost or stolen and get new ones. “The reality is that there’s a whole teenage culture out there that even the most knowledgeable adult is not privy to,” said Joe Hamby, youth minister at Myers Park United Methodist Church. The key to reducing premature funerals, he said, may be for teens to keep each other sober. “If all the friends are equally inebriated,” Hamby said, “that might be a hard one.”

Link: http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/news/9222248.htm

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