Tawnisha Parham 7/3/2011 HSM WEEK 4 ASSIGNMENT: Examining Government Regulations VIRGINIA TEENS ALLOWED TO SIP: I SAY WE MUST QUIT The Virginia state law explains that it is in fact acceptable for an under aged person to possess an alcoholic beverage if the reason for the possession is to deliver it to a parent or legal guardian over the age of 21. Also Virginia’s law states that it is acceptable for a person under the age of 21 to consume alcoholic beverages in private establishments such as their own personal home or a family member’s home but not in public.
Lastly, there is a new law that just recently passed July 1, 2011, that states that any under aged person caught drinking and driving with a blood alcohol level of 0. 2 ( one beer) will lose their license for a year and have to pay a fine of either 500 or 50hrs of community service. The regulations suggesting that under aged drinkers are ok to consume alcoholic beverages as long as they are doing so in a private home or possessing the beverage for a parent or guardian are laws that I do not support because they negatively impact my targeted population.
I feel as if these laws create a greater chance for some teens to become alcoholics. I feel as if teens should be completely banned from alcohol consumption until they are at least 21 years of age, even if consumption takes place in the privacy of their own home. I feel very strongly about this because I don’t think that teen agers are mature enough to handle the effects of alcohol no matter where their location may be. Most under aged drinking is done in private and most mishaps caused by under aged drinkers were done while an intoxicated minor was behind the wheel of an automobile.
As for the law against driving after consuming an alcoholic beverage, I say bravo. No person should be allowed to operate a vehicle when under the influence. So many deaths have occurred due to drunk driving, and even more accidents. The punishment is fair and I do trust that this new law will have a very positive impact on my targeted population. The laws that allow these teenagers to possess alcohol would create the largest obstacles for me and the assistance and help that I would be able to provide to my targeted population.
Everything starts at home, your first teachers are your parents and your first class room is your very own bedroom. In my opinion allowing teens to possess and consume alcohol in their homes is worse than them sneaking in the streets because parents are setting the example that drinking (while still a minor) is ok. But it is not ok. It has been proven scientifically that alcohol affects the brains of teenagers differently (negatively) than that of adults. Also, teens that become exposed to alcohol at an early age usually grow up to become alcoholics.
I would suggest that parents of teenagers that have not been exposed to alcohol keep it that way. Those parents that have children that have encountered alcoholic beverages and their affects my suggestion is to explain the negative effects of alcohol so that the teenager is aware that you are concerned and not just being a nagging parent. I also feel that there should be a law passed sometime in the near future that explains that no teenager is allowed to have alcohol in their system at any time or any place until they have reached the age of 21.
I’m sure that if there was a law of that nature passed along with random testing done at school, it would have a great impact on the youth of today. I also think it would be a great idea if during the spring months of the school year academic personnel would formulate an assembly style presentation including photos and live demonstration of vehicles that have actually been in a crash caused by an under aged drinker.
I believe this will have a great impact on under aged drinking, mostly because during the prom season is when teens become interested in drinking alcohol, using drugs and doing other sorts of things that were not a normal part of their teenage lifestyle. Most teens need direction, my targeted population is no different. As a matter of a fact, my targeted population needs even more direction that your normal teen. I think a great start would be educating ninth through twelfth graders on alcohol consumption while still a minor.