FAIRFIELD, Ohio — Parents who host parties involving alcohol for their teens and their friends could face jail time and possible civil action if caught, Fairfield’s mayor said.
Mayor Steve Miller recently proclaimed May as “Parents who Host Lose the Most, Don’t be a Party to Teen-age Drinking” month in the city of Fairfield encouraging parents to not allow alcohol at any parties at their homes in advance of the high school’s prom next weekend, or at any time.
Besides it being illegal, Miller said providing alcohol to anyone under 21 placing those youths at risk for health, safety and legal problems.
“Alcohol use by young people is dangerous, not only because of the risk associated with of acute impairment, but also because of the risk to their long-term development and well-being,” he said.
Anyone found guilty of supplying teens with alcohol can face a $1,000 fine and six months in jail, and possible civil action for any damages or related injuries, he said.
The Fairfield Prevention Coalition wants to involve the community next week to greet high schoolers heading out to their prom weekend. The goal is to show up between 2:15 and 3 p.m. on May 10 “and shake the hands of young people, connect with them as they leave school and prepare for their big prom weekend,” said Deb Neyer, of the Fairfield Prevention Coalition.
“We’re asking that you shake their hand, make eye contact with them, connect with them and ask them to have a safe fun weekend and return back safely on Monday,” she said.
At a recent city council meeting, the Fairfield Youth Coalition president and vice president also encouraged parents not to host teenage drinking parties.
“Alcohol is the number one drug of choice among youth,” said Kaitlyn Begley, the youth coalition’s vice president. “Underage drinking isn’t harmless.”
Begley said underage drinking contributes to more than 4,300 youths’ deaths a year in the country.
Those buying alcohol around Fairfield may also see stickers on multi-packs of beer, said Bryce Lakes, the youth coalition’s president.
The group is placing stickers at many local retailers that sell beer “just as a reminder to parents, ‘Don’t be buying this for your children.’”
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