It’s that time of year again. High school students are gearing up for their Junior/Senior proms and seniors are psyched about graduation. You can feel the excitement building as these young men and women are preparing to walk across that stage and receive their diplomas. For many of these young people, proms and graduation is a right-of-passage into early adulthood and often times call for celebration.
According to the 2010 Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment, 12th graders who reported drinking alcohol within the past year, 80% said they consumed it at a friend’s house or party. An astonishing 70% claimed they received the alcoholic concoctions from someone over 21. With the “After Prom” and graduation party season here, Oklahoma teens will have more access to alcoholic beverages than any other time of year. Prevention specialists from Eagle Ridge Institute and the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission are out educating local communities on Oklahoma’s Social Host laws, which went in effect in November 2011.
Under Oklahoma’s Social Host laws, anyone allowing underage drinking or the use of “any controlled dangerous drugs” on their property can be charged with a misdemeanor and receive $500 fines. According to prevention specialists, the main idea behind the Social Host campaign is not to provide anyone under 21 a place to drink. The “Those Who Host Stand to Lose the Most” campaign discusses methods of restricting alcohol to Oklahoma teens such as locking liquor cabinets and medicine cabinets. Eagle Ridge Institute and the ABLE commission would like to encourage community members to spread the word on Oklahoma’s laws and do their part to make this a safe and exciting spring. If you have any questions concerning Oklahoma Social Host or you would like to volunteer your time to help your community, please contact a prevention specialist at Eagle Ridge Institute at (405) 840-1359