Friday, June 1, 2012

Prepare For Graduation With Safety In Mind

With graduation ceremonies approaching, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office reminds teens and their parents to celebrate safe.

Deputies say it is important for parents, teens and party hosts to understand the laws in order to keep everyone safe.

Some parents host graduation parties where alcohol is provided, thinking that they can better protect teens by providing supervision of their drinking, and by keeping them from driving drunk. Deputies are warning parents and guardians that they will be held responsible if any underage drinking occurs on their property and could be subject to criminal and civil sanctions.

Establishments that sell alcohol are reminded to ask patrons for ID. Underage sales and purchases could result in criminal prosecution.

Once again CCSO deputies will be on hand for Project Graduation. This annual event is scheduled for June 1 from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. at the YMCA of the Palms in North Naples.

CCSO has been a partner in Project Graduation since its inception in Collier in 1985. The event offers seniors a place to celebrate with their friends in a safe and alcohol- and drug-free environment.

CCSO offers these tips to help keep teens safe during graduation:

* Communicate with your teens regularly and openly about alcohol and drugs.

* Communicate with other parents about your expectations and theirs.

* Discuss your expectations and rules for graduation outings.

* Know who will be driving and what your teen’s plans are.

* Make sure your teen has a cell phone. Have pre-established times when your teen calls in to check in with you.

* Remind your teen not to use alcohol or drugs, or ride in a vehicle with anyone under the influence.

* Never provide alcohol or drugs to your teen or others.

* Remind your teen to buckle up when riding in a vehicle.

* Get involved by volunteering to supervise graduation events.

* Don’t rent a hotel room for teens.

* Stay up until your teen gets home.

Regular and open communication between parents and teens can make a difference in preventing drunken driving, drug use, DUI accidents, and other destructive behavior. Take the time to give your teen the information and tools they need to stay safe.