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Study shows parents can help prevent underage drinking

Many Wisconsin parents may be worried that their teenagers may decide to drink and drive. However, according to research headed by a professor at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina, parents can prevent their teens from drinking by setting clear rules.

For the study, approximately 1,100 teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15 and 25 in seven states were surveyed. The participants were asked about their partying behavior and whether or not their parents had clear rules when it came to underage drinking. Fifty-eight percent of the participants reported that their parents had rules about drinking. Results showed that those who had clear rules against drinking as teenagers were 35 percent less likely to have attended a party where alcohol was available within the past 30 days. Of the approximately 60 percent of those who did attend parties where alcohol was available were 38 percent less likely to drink.

Although the findings of this study are preliminary, they could eventually lead to ways that families can prevent underage drinking. Curbing underage drinking is important for healthy development and could prevent more harmful actions in the future, such as binge drinking, drunk driving and interpersonal violence.

Regardless of their age, people who have been charged with drunk driving could face serious consequences if a conviction is obtained. In addition to a drivers' license suspension, penalties could include jail time and fines. As a result, it may be advisable for those in this position to seek the representation of a criminal defense attorney in order to combat the charges.

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