FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich
Adult beverages are not for kids
Kavulich addresses underage drinking by bringing parents into the loop
HARRISBURG, May 4 – State Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich, D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Susquehanna/Wyoming, has introduced a bill that would require colleges to report to the students' parents or legal guardians when their underage children are caught consuming alcohol. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to $10,000.
"Underage drinking is against the law. Unfortunately, we know it happens on college campuses despite the schools' best efforts to curb it," Kavulich said. "Getting parents involved would give our colleges one more tool in fighting underage drinking."
It's Kavulich's hope that his H.B 1073 would raise awareness of the problem of underage drinking, not just on college campuses, but among high school and middle school students as well.
According to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health:
· Every year over 5,000 children under 16 have their first alcoholic drink;
· The average age at which a young person begins drinking is 13;
· Underage drinking causes between 4,500 and 5,000 deaths per year among those under 21;
· Underage drinking is estimated to account for 12 to 20 percent of the U.S. alcohol market; 12-percent represents 3.6 billion drinks per year.
"Adult beverages are not for children, that's why they're called 'adult beverages,'" Kavulich said. "Parents, who would never encourage their children to break other laws such as speeding, are encouraging their children to break the law when they condone underage drinking in or outside of the home. They're sending their children a dangerous message."
Kavulich said with prom and graduation party season upon us, all parents need to be reminded that underage drinking is against the law.
The bill has bipartisan support in the House and is currently before the House Liquor Control Committee for consideration.