Talking to Your Children About Underage Drinking


Knoxville (WVLT) - Alcohol and Spring Break, for many, go hand and hand and for thousands of students across East Tennessee, that's less then 24 hours away.

From their normal environments to a week of free time and decisions to make on their own, "there's going to be drinking involved," guidance counselor Sarah Bast says.

Teenage drinking and spring break, a time local nightlife spots are already preparing for, and already catching underage teens in action.

"Last evening, we had two IDs that looked perfect," Buffalo Wild Wings Manager Tim Vicars says. "On the back, they had a price tag on the back."

Fake IDs that is, that's why Buffalo Wild Wings has a new device to read between the lines on your teen's identity.

"What we do is take the ID in question, slide it in the scanner, and it tells you the birth date, legal age, expiration date," Vicars says.

And if it's not a legal ID, the machine reads 'Do Not Accept'.

"If we're not sure, they don't get served," Vicars continues.

"Fake ideas are very real," for Sarah Bast, a guidance counselor at West High School, the underage drinking is all too real.

"Hits very close to home, we've had a couple of tragic deaths in our student body in the past year," she says. "To the students, it's still fresh on their minds, and parents it's still close to home."

And it's at home, Sarah says, these students need to hear from their parents how to be responsible when it comes to alcohol.

"It's important for the parents to know if they aren't traveling with their child, who is traveling with the child, and it needs to be discussed before the trip takes place," Bast says. "There are expectations about behavior, substance abuse, about making choices that will affect you longer then you ever expected." she continues.

Managers at several local night clubs say they plan on staffing extra workers next week to accommodate the extra teens and ensure every license is checked.


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