A Meeting about Drinking
This summer one boy (barely 21) was killed in a drunk driving wreck and another (18) was hurt when friends ran over him at a drinking party. It's weird, but I am revising a novel right now and in it a boy is run over and killed at a drinking party. But that's another story. That's make-believe and this is real. About sixty people turned out a town hall style meeting about young people and alcohol last night at the Chilkat Center-- teachers, parents, police officers, the trooper, doctors and nurses, counselors, kids-- It was a good cross section of concerned citizens.The chief said education is needed to curb youth and adult drinking and that law enforcement is just a small part of the solution. I know that changing a town's culture can take generations, but that's too many obituaries for me to write. What will save lives now is strict enforcement of DUI, minor consuming, and especially supplying alcohol to minors laws. The dad of that boy who was run over (and is thankfully, miraculously okay) said that he wished the police had cited his son for minor consuming instead of saying that he had suffered enough. He said he wished the other kids were taught a lesson. One mom said, "I don't want the police giving my kid a warning. I do that all the time. I want you to give him a ticket." She wanted to know what happens to people who buy alcohol for minors. "What is the punishment?", she asked. "Does anyone know?" It was telling that no one answered her question.