I have long espoused that American parents are becoming far too lax when it comes to providing alcohol for their children. I am not sure when it became fashion to drink alcohol at home with your children. While I cannot say for certain that this will cause the children to become alcoholics, I am certain it is not a good thing.
So just what is the answer? Saipan seems to be trying something a little out of the box. As reported in www.saipantribune.com.
In Saipan, parents, guardians, and other adults who are caught allowing minors-or those under 21 years old-to drink alcoholic beverages now also face a fine of up to $1,000 as part of a new law that provides much stiffer penalties to business establishments, individuals, minors, and others related to the sale and consumption of alcohol involving minors.
The provisions of Saipan’s law also punishes the minors - any minor or any person under 21 buying alcoholic beverages shall be punished by a fine of not more than a $1,000, or imprisonment of no more than one year, or both, and shall perform community service of not less than 80 hours, but not more than 250 hours which cannot be converted to a fine or be suspended.
A survey of Saipan’s public school system found that 70 percent of high school students and 53 percent of middle school students have had at least one drink of alcohol.
It will be interesting to see if the harsher punishments for both adults and minors lead to less alcohol consumption. I also wonder how use of other controlled substances will be affected by the new laws.