POSTED: Monday, September 9, 2013 - 1:21pm
UPDATED: Monday, September 9, 2013 - 1:53pm
EDINBURG, TX (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — A recent survey of Texas teens and alcohol reveals that 80 percent of underage students say access to alcohol is easy.
A staggering 86 percent claim it's a common experience for their peers to get drunk, which is why Mothers Against Drunk Driving believes parents can't be naive when it comes to their kids and alcohol.
"As parents, we need to realize out children are gonna be exposed to the temptations of alcohol," said Sarah Sanchez, MADD volunteer. "You want to bring up to your child and let them know the rules that you have, and add that to your parenting skills that you already have in place."
Teen alcohol use kills about 5,000 people each year, and underage drinking often results in drunk driving. Hidalgo and Cameron County are two of the highest regions in Texas with alcohol-related crashes.
Parents are encouraged to be open with their kids and let them know they have options if they encounter a bad situation.
"You want to reiterate to your children that you find it very important that they do have that in them where they can stop and say 'no, I will get a ride from my parents,' and that they feel comfortable enough to give you a call and let you know the situation," Sanchez stated.
Taking that first step in bringing up underage drinking to you children can be difficult, which is why MADD offers a program called Power of Parents to help.
"We're trying to provide them with all the kinds of key elements and tips to give them a better conversation starter so that they can bring up the issue of alcohol with their child," said Sanchez. "Also, it gives them tips on how to approach that touchy subject.
A subject that is best brought up before your children find themselves sitting in the back of a police car.