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Should parents be held legally responsible for hosting parties where alcohol is served to underage drinkers?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on May 15, 2007

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Photo of Grace Musat

“I think that if it’s a safe environment that’s under control, then I don’t think they should get in any legal trouble.”

Photo of Ken Chang

“Yes. If your parents knowingly help you break the law, that’s not setting a good example. If anything, it’s worse than if the kids do it behind their back.”

Photo of Sandra Johnson

“Absolutely. It’s their house, and they should be legally responsible for what happens there.”

Photo of Brian Ochs

“Yes. They’re contributing to the delinquency of minors according to the law. Of course, I think that if you’re old enough to go get shot in Iraq, you should be able to walk into any bar and get a beer. But if they’re underage, they’re underage.”


trinity 11 years, 1 month ago

i know of a certain little "hawklet21" that experimented with a huge party when momma was out of town for the weekend. after finding numerous booze bottles of assorted flavors&all sorts of odd things in the house, she finally 'fessed up to having hosted a soiree(sp?) that began as just a "few people over for a barbeque" and quickly turned in to a minor riot. she got a rippin' for that to be sure.

also know of some parties that have happened on people's property wherein the parents honestly had not a clue one that kids were slipping on to the grounds through a back way&bringing tons of booze on the place-and kids were busted&parents held liable. ignorance is not a defense.

good answer jonas i agree.

craigers 11 years, 1 month ago

I can't believe anybody would say no. The law should be a little more lenient on parents that had no clue what was going on, but hosting a party for minors to drink? Come on...

jonas 11 years, 1 month ago

What, like a Bar-Mitzvah, a kegger, a binge night with whiskey, letting them have a sip off of a beer, what are we talking about here?

Nevermind, found the article. Yes, parents should be held responsible if they host a party where minors go to specifically for drinking and socializing. There's really not a whole lot of wiggle room in the laws on the subject. Still, if a parent wants to allow their child to have a beer or glass of wine with dinner, under supervision, then that should not be a problem. Supervising a kid's first experiences with alcohol is probably going to end better than waiting, usually, until their on their own in college, and expecting them, somehow, to have the responsability to self-instruct through restrained and thoughtful consumption.

preebo 11 years, 1 month ago

"Absolutely. It's their house, and they should be legally responsible for what happens there."

I second this, only to add that all laws of the state are to be applied throughout the state, and are not subject to dismissal within the confines of one's domicile. I believe the old adage is, the law is the law. Anyone willing to circumvent the legal code does so knowing full well the consequences that follow.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago should be just as up front about it.

But I sincerely doubt that all your experiences with drugs, alcohol and sex were all that good.

They're just like everthing else. You may have a couple of nice experiences. But for every nice one, you might also have ten bad ones.

Does that make it worth it?

If you drink while drunk twice, don't get caught and don't kill anyone else, does that make the third time you do it worth it? The third time, when you not only get caught, but you wiped out an entire family in a minivan while you were at it?

Of course you don't see the problem with any of it, ibrown...because you're not a parent.

You also don't seem to be a responsible adult. Since when is it okay to just ignore a law, just because you don't like it?

Why can't you just wait until you're 21? What is the huge fascination with alcohol, that you think you just have to have it now?

What if society treated thieves and murderers the same way? "Oh, they're old enough to go to Iraq. They're old enough to steal and kill someone. No big deal."

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

Why? Because I don't think that drinking is the end all and be all of existence?

I have a daughter, thank you. She waited until she was 21 to drink. We went out together on her 21st birthday to a bar, and she had her first drink. She didn't like it. So alcohol hasn't been a problem for her, though she drinks on occasion. But not very often.

Any parent who hosts a party and serves alcohol to underage kids should be arrested and held accountable. If you don't like the law, then work toward getting it changed.

But don't hold your breath. Since the drinking age has been tied to states receiving federal highway funds, I doubt you'll get very far.

Steve Mechels 11 years, 1 month ago

Should there be any question about this? If they host the party it is against the law!!! It is no different than buying booze for some kids that are waiting outside the liquor store.

blackwalnut 11 years, 1 month ago

A drinking age of 21 is just ridiculous.

The drinking age ought to be 18.

And whatever laws exist to punish people for driving while intoxicated should be strenghtened and the punishments tripled - but for everyone, not just 18 year olds.

jonas 11 years, 1 month ago

"Blackwalnut (Anonymous) says:

A drinking age of 21 is just ridiculous.

The drinking age ought to be 18."

Agreed, but I doubt the minors under question here would be much effected by this change.

Laura Watkins 11 years, 1 month ago

i went to high school with several 19 year olds and having the drinking age at 18 would have just made it even easier to have high school keg parties.

Kat Christian 11 years, 1 month ago

When I was younger you could buy and drink beer at age 18, but could not purchase or drink liquor or wine. I've always had reservations with this until Viet Nam when we were sending 18 years old over to kill or be killed. If you can shot and kill someone drinking a beer couldn't be half as terrible. Then again in peace time should 18 year olds be drinking when there isn't war to compare it to? I do think that parents should be responsible for not allowing kids to drink and if they think they will do it behind their backs they need to pull in the purse strings and monitor their activities more. I don't think any parent should allow for teen drinking parties whatsoever. The law is the law and if it constitutes underage drinking is under 21 we should abide by that law. Then again I don't think the draft should take young men under age 21.

beatrice 11 years, 1 month ago

Blue explained it perfectly -- "Yes. Duh!"

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 1 month ago

I agree with Brian. If you are old enough to go to war then you are old enough to drink.

That being said, if I want to share some beer or wine or whatever with my teen, that is my business. To share beer or wine or whatever with someone else's teen is a different matter and I would require their parents' consent and I really don't even want to go there, so no problem. Honestly, I thought there already was liability. I believe you can get in trouble with the law if you are cought allowing those underage to drink in your home. I haven't read the article yet, but it may be criminal vs. civil thing.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

You know, the rally cry back in the Vietnam era was, "if we're old enough to go to war, we are old enough to vote."

Well, 18-year-olds got the right to vote...what have they done with it? Nothing...seems that a great many of them would rather be out drinking and partying than going to cast their vote...

Why don't people try to kids that drinking isn't all that...getting roaring drunk isn't fun, and it isn't least the aftermath isn't pleasant, especially if you go out and do something stupid while you're drunk. Why don't people teach their kids that you can have fun without alcohol? You can socialize without alcohol?

In my experience, drinking doesn't enhance either one. Try going to a bar sometime, and sit there sipping Pepsi and watch all the other people who ARE drinking alcohol. It's sad. It's depressing. And it gets worse as the evening progresses.

Sharing some beer or wine with your kids at home may be your business, Azure...but if your neighbors knew that you were doing it, and called the cops, you'd be in just as much trouble...even if there weren't any other kids there but your own.

And would you let them drink to the point of being drunk? Just a little, or a lot?

sunflower_sue 11 years, 1 month ago

I'll third Blue's "Yes, Duh!"

RI, Just a hypothetical question: If "major children" are invited to disco rollerblade/imbibe on your deconstructed "open plan" living-dining-kitchen-foyer area and they roll through a wall...who is legally responsible?

Bud Stagg 11 years, 1 month ago

All we have done by moving the drinking age to 21 is to move the age of responsibility back. This means that our 21 year olds are as dumb as we were at 18. When I was in college people were out on their own when they left college. Now they move home for a few more years. Come on parents, get your kids ready for the real world. Do you know how many college kids I employ who do not know how to show up to work on time, do not know how to do laundry, do not know how to check the air in their car tires. However they do know how to drink already at age 18 or 19.

What is next? We move the drinking age to 25 because we have parents who can't raise kids?

Richard Heckler 11 years, 1 month ago

If the party for underage drinkers also includes a sleep over perhaps that would be okay? Why would you want them driving? Perhaps ALL drinking parties should be sleep overs...tents and bed rolls anyone? Are we demonstrating responsible drinking like never more than one or two? Do we want our children to experience hangovers which are boring,painful and a waste of time?

I am rather curious as to what brought this to the surface?

The answer to the question could be NO if all drinkers parents signed a consent form and it was a sleep over. The most obvious answer is yes however.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 1 month ago

"Disco Inferno." Embarrassingly enough, I had that on 45.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 1 month ago


Also, I think it's silly that drinking alcohol is considered so amazing that minors are in a big hurry to start. It's just a beverage that makes you stupid if you drink too much of it.

samsnewplace 11 years, 1 month ago

Back in the 70's the legal drinking age was 18. I agree with blue73harley 10:15am. I also agree if you are old enough to give your life for your country, then you should be able to drink a beer!

Ceallach 11 years, 1 month ago

Parents should be held accountable. This is not a matter of them allowing their adolescent to try a glass of wine or drink a beer, there are other people's childen involved.

As far as the "if they are old enough to go to war" rationalization goes, I don't think 18 year olds should be allowed to go to war. I say keep the drinking age at 21 and if they are not old enough to drink, they are not old enough to go to war.

paladin 11 years, 1 month ago

Uh...yeah. I can't imagine why any normally functioning teenager would want to drink at home with his parents. That's just strange. I don't know if serving and drinking of alcoholic beverages would be permitted if it was integrated into a homeschool curriculum or not. Like as a requirement for a bar-tending class. It might be OK then.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 11 years, 1 month ago

If you're old enough to go to war, you should be able to drink. Therefore, a clause should be put in place to allow those who join the military to legally consume alcohol.

OfficeGirl 11 years, 1 month ago

The KU sophomore's parents likely still host underage drinking parties for her on the weekends. Of course you shouldn't introduce your kids to any "correct" ways of drinking by allowing them to do so in your home and should be held legally responsible if you do. You can show your kids any "correctness" lessons by example. If mom or dad take the family to an event where alcohol is being served, they should always have a designated driver to get everyone safely home or not drink at all to show a better example. Didn't most of us have at least one roaring, out of control alcoholic in the family growing up or was it just my family that wasn't like Ward/June Cleaver?

Bone777 11 years, 1 month ago

OTS for tomorrow:

Should parents be held legally responsible for hosting parties where drugs are served to their children?

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

Not sanctimoneous, Azure...just a been there, done that person.

If kids drinking at 18 was the only problem, then yeah, go ahead and let them drink at 18, since they can do practically everything else. Unfortunately, kids don't wait until they're 18 to drink. They start at 15, or 13, or maybe even younger. Would you think it was okay for parents to have a party and provide alcohol if the kids in question were only 16? Younger? The question didn't specify...just said "underage". There are a lot of different ages that are considered underage...not just 18.

My mother let me take sips of beer and wine at home when I was a kid. Sips, to see what it tasted like. I thought it was downright nasty. But that didn't stop me from drinking as a teenager. Because everyone else thought it was cool. Everyone else thought it was fun.

So I drank. Did my mother letting me take those sips of alcohol stop me from sneaking behind her back to drink more? No.

I drank off and on for years. And it's funny, but once I turned 21 and could drink anything anytime I wanted to, it wasn't nearly as much fun. Wasn't nearly as appealing, thrill-wise. I suspect the major reason that underage kids drink is because they know they're not supposed to. But if we lower the drinking age to 18, then what? Kids will think they should be allowed to drink at 17 or younger. Lowering the drinking age won't stop underage drinkers. The underage drinkers will only be younger, that's all.

Maybe I am a tad sanctimoneous. As a recovering alcoholic, maybe I have a right to be. I've experienced what alcohol can do to you, and it doesn't care who your parents are or how much influence they have, or what your street address is.

I saw how it ruined lives. People may start drinking for one reason or loosen up and have forget something for awhile. But it can so easily turn into a monster on your back that is controlling you instead of the other way around. Will it happen to everyone? No. But it could happen to some. Does that make drinking at 18 worth the risk?

I really don't understand all the hype and glorification that society promotes when it comes to drinking. Do people really think that drinking will make them more fun to be around? Perhaps up to a point. But a lot of people, especially younger people, drink to the point of being senseless, and believe me, you're no fun to be around then.

If you are fun to be around at parties, you will be fun to be around even if you don't drink.

I agree with Ceallach...raise the damn age of consent, especially for joining the armed forces...don't lower the drinking age.

Bone777 11 years, 1 month ago

OTS for day after tomorrow:

Should parents be held legally responsible for hosting porn parties involving their children?

Ceallach 11 years, 1 month ago

crazyks, congrats to you. As the child of an alcoholic I know how much is involved in facing alcoholism, seeing its power over yourself and others, and still taking it on every day. My father spent the last 30 years of his life helping other men to overcome it, reclaim their lives, and for the lucky ones, reclaim their families.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 1 month ago

I like Ceal's answer. I'm adding Ceal's response to Blue's response and that will be my answer. I may throw in a little Das for good measure. Yep! That's my answer!

latinlab 11 years, 1 month ago

My parents always let me drink wine or beer at their parties and taught me what makes a good wine or a good beer, removing the idea of drinking to get wasted and inculcating, instead, the idea that drinking is like eating. It's a necessity but if you know what you are drinking it can be a luxury too. So when I got drunk around 17, it seemed ridiculous. Imagine getting drunk from eating so many hamburgers. So yes, I do think parents should let kids drink but only after they've educated them on what drinking is all about. Not about binge drinking of course. I always think it's funny that kids in the U.S are desperate to get drunk when they're alone (the great majority of them) I think it's funny to an outsider but very sad once you realize it's part of socializing. As if they need that tranquilizer because they find it difficult to socialize. Besides, if I want to get a buzz, I know exactly what my limit is because I've always had drinks around the family.

Flap Doodle 11 years, 1 month ago

Next week's OTS question, should parents be held legally responsible if their children applaud between movements at a concert?

Tony Kisner 11 years, 1 month ago

RI- "Would it be a violation of the laws of the state for major children (immature adults) to disco rollerblade while intoxicated ?"

I think the only inducement for me to Disco Rollerblade would be drinking to the point of intoxication. I Can't recall if it was the Beatles or Pink Floyd "I don't know? I was pretty drunk at the time".

sgtwolverine 11 years, 1 month ago

Ceal+Blue+Das=Sue? That's a little frightening, I think.

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 1 month ago

I have alcoholics in my family, too, and have seen the damage alcohol in excess does first hand. My father quit drinking when my mother divorced him but it's too bad he couldn't do that while they were still married. My mother wouldn't have met my step-dad, though, and I would have missed out a a terribly cool guy. They are moderate drinkers and there is nothing wrong with that. It's about the taste, how it compliment to the food you're eating, the hpooiness, whatever. They allowed me to sample when I was 15 or 16, but not too much. In my 20's I had drank to excess some but didn't become a raging alcoholic unlike a couple of my older siblings but they were well on thier way before my parents ever divorced so we had differin teen experiences.

Avoiding excess is the key.

Ceallach 11 years, 1 month ago

More frightening than a wolverine? I don't think so :)

Chris Golledge 11 years, 1 month ago

Too many people confuse legality with morality. The question has a moral framework, 'should', with legal conditional, 'underage'. Legal definitions suffice for 'underage'; 'should' asks if it is the right thing to do or not. There are many things which are illegal which are not intrinsically immoral; there are many things which are immoral and yet not illegal. For instance, in this country it is illegal to drive past a red octagonal sign with the letters STOP on it without stopping, if you transplant that same sign to a street corner in China, it means nothing, legally or morally. Moral behavior is not dependent on language or locale. Let's face it, the law is a blunt instrument and moral decisions often have fine points and mitigating factors.

My observations: If teenagers are inclined to drink, it's very difficult to stop them. I believe the incidence of bad things happening when a person drives home from a 'secret' party is higher than a chaperoned party. Mostly this is because, at the chaperoned party I knew, the keys were taken at the door and not returned until the next day. Safer? Yes. Legal? No.

So, the question could be rephrased, "Would you punish someone for doing something illegal even if they believed what they did would increase the safety of their and others' children?"

If you really wanted to open a can of worms, ask what if the drinking of alcohol was necessary as part of a religious rite of passage. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, ...". I'm sure this bridge has been crossed before, but re-hashing things is always a good time.

OfficeGirl 11 years, 1 month ago

Parents should be held legally responsible for any type of party they host for their underage children that have illegal aspects to it. So yes, supplying drugs or allowing minors to watch porn would not be a good idea. " porn parties involving their children" sounds like a whole other bad idea. I will hope that you didn't mean what that implies.

Ceallach 11 years, 1 month ago

cg, are you pecking a fight with the constitutionalists (I know it's not a word, but I like it) who regularly visit this site?

Chris Golledge 11 years, 1 month ago

Ceallach, I wouldn't call it picking a fight. Generally, I favor a strict interpretation of our constitution.

It's more that I'm pointing out that sometimes the rules that we (try to) live by conflict with each other and we have to decide for ourselves what is right. If we can throw in a little respect for others who resolve the conflict differently, that would be nice.

But, as a bonus, that last bit on religion did have good potential for some fur-flying. ;-) Of course, no one will take the bait on it now.

Ceallach 11 years, 1 month ago

Of course not :)

Today's question is getting rather boring. A little blood in the water might be just what some of our sharks need. (I mean that reference to sharks in the best possible way :)

ClearSkies 11 years, 1 month ago

It is not the parents fault if their child gets ahold of alcohol and has a party, serving it to the other kids. It is a parents fault, however, if they do not keep a close enough eye on their child.

Ceallach 11 years, 1 month ago

According to the question, the parental responsibility is directed toward parents who "host" a party where alcohol is served to underage drinkers . . . not parents who are unaware of their children drinking and/or serving alcohol.

jonas 11 years, 1 month ago

"(I mean that reference to sharks in the best possible way :)"

While I can understand some sharks having cause to be offended by being compared to some posters on this board, I doubt that they really mind to much. Sharks are usually pretty well adjusted.

paladin 11 years, 1 month ago

Does that include home-brew and homemade wine for those youngsters graduating from home-school?

sgtwolverine 11 years, 1 month ago

Das: Intervention!

Ceal: A wolverine is frightening only if you don't know it personally.

Also, on a different subject, raccoons are irritating no matter what.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

In school, maybe kids should have to sit through films of how people act and look when they drink, especially if they take it too far. Maybe they need to see films of people getting sick from drinking, because of course none of their friends ever tell them stories about how awful drinking can be.

Maybe that would take some of the glamour away from it.

What do we expect, when every major sporting event on TV has beer and alcohol ads, and promotes drinking. Because everyone knows you can't have fun watching sports unless you're drinking at the same time...(heavy sarcasm)

I, quite frankly, drank to get roaring drunk every time I picked up the glass or bottle. A lot of kids are the same way. A lot of kids don't know their own limit, and some wouldn't stop drinking even if they did know, and knew they were going too far.

Your limit, latinlab, can be different on different days, depending on your weight, the time of day, and how much and what you've had to eat prior to drinking.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

I guess a nice wine with a nice dinner would be acceptable. But really, I could enjoy the nice dinner without the wine.

One could say that, 75x55, but there will probably be ten people who will disagree with it.

paladin 11 years, 1 month ago

OK, kids. No drinking, no drugs, no sex, no wild parties, don't turn up the music too loud. Go out and have a good time, be good, and don't do anything I used to do. There, I'm a good parent. Thanks Dad, ya friggin hypocrite. Come on man, lets go get wasted. All in all, we're just another brick in the wall.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

Maybe, if parents were up front about their own bad experiences with drugs, alcohol and sex (instead of hiding it and pretending like they never, ever did such things), fewer kids would want to rush out and do such things for the first time...and at a younger age than you did.

Parents for some reason think that if they tell their kids the stories about the things they did themselves that it somehow condones their children doing the same things.

Maybe, just maybe, it might make them think twice about doing it themselves.

Kathy Theis-Getto 11 years, 1 month ago

K.S.A. 21-3610 (Furnishing) Directly or indirectly, selling to, buying for, giving or furnishing any alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverage to any minor is a class B person misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $200.K.S.A. 21-3610c (Hosting/Paul's Law)Unlawfully hosting minors consuming alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverage is intentionally permitting a person's residence,land, building, structure or procured room tobe used in such a manner that results in the possession or consumption therein of alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverages by persons under the age of 18. The penalty for conviction is a class A person misdemeanor with a minimun fine of $1,000, and the potential of up to one year in jail. K.S.A. 21-3610c (Hosting/Paul's Law)Unlawfully hosting minors consuming alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverage is intentionally permitting a person's residence,land, building, structure or procured room to be used in such a manner that results in the possession or consumption therein of alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverages by persons under the age of 18. The penalty for conviction is a class A person misdemeanor with a minimun fine of $1,000, and the potential of up to one year in jail. Online statute search is available 10/06

Simple - it is the law.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

What is so damned wonderful about drinking?

If you can't go a day, a week, a month, a year, without thinking you just have to do it...then you may have a problem.

shirinisb 11 years, 1 month ago

Duhhhhh, Even me (I've been accused of being a left wing liberal hippy) agrees that any parent that gives a minor alcohol (or other drugs) should be thrown in jail. No question.

paladin 11 years, 1 month ago

The law's the law's the law. Who really cares, unless ya get busted. Ah....there's the rub.

Ian Brown 11 years, 1 month ago

Well... considering I'm only 20 years old and I haven't had any problem buying or consuming alcohol since the day I turned 16, I really don't see the point in the legal drinking age being set at 21. As for whether or not parents should be held responsible for babysitting a bunch of drunk kids... well, I don't see the problem with that. I'd much rather a sober parent be in control of the house than their drunken son who is trying to start a fight with anyone who looks at them the wrong way. Furthermore, who gives a damn, it's a little bit of beer. My friends and I - most of whom are under 21 - that live on our own have drinking parties all the time, so should we be held responsible for throwing a party for underage boozehounds like ourselves? What is the difference between someone 21 years old or older having a party for someone under 21 and someone 20 years old having a party for a bunch of people under 21 years old? Or was it only parents who are to be held responsible for holding such events, or is it anyone over 21? I'm sorry I wasn't able to watch the video, I don't have quicktime and I wasn't interested in downloading it. Anyhow, I suppose we all have to be ready to deal with the consequences that come with breaking such an idiotic law, which is, indeed, an absurd law. And to restate what just about everyone else on here said, if you're old enough to go to Iraq and die for your country why can't you enjoy a few cold ones if you so choose.

Ian Brown 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm sorry, I guess this was the "On the Street" question, and there was no video included. I did, however, see a video advertised for a similar story on one of the Kansas City news websites. Nonetheless, I still do not know all of the in's and outs of the law, so it doesn't matter anyways.

beatrice 11 years, 1 month ago

crazy: "Maybe, if parents were up front about their own bad experiences with drugs, alcohol and sex (instead of hiding it and pretending like they never, ever did such things), fewer kids would want to rush out and do such things for the first time:and at a younger age than you did."

What if I also had really good experiences with drugs, alcohol and sex? Should I lie?

Ian Brown 11 years, 1 month ago

Hey Crazyks, you're about as crazy and uptight as your username leads us all to believe. You're saying that just because me and just about every other 20 year old currently attending KU is irresponsible just because we like to have a good time and drink? Okay, well... maybe you don't belong in the 21st century... or perhaps you're ahead of your time because people 20 years old and younger have been drinking alcohol since the day people knew you could drink. Furthermore, the United States is one of the only countries in the world that has the legal drinking age set at 21. I'm sorry I don't abide by that law, but I don't think it makes me irresponsible. Do you wear your seat belt everytime you drive? Do you use your turn signal everytime you make a turn or change lanes? Do you go the speed limit everytime you drive? Ah man, chances are you don't abide by every one of those minute laws, shame on you. You're so irresponsible it makes me sick. Okay, I'm exaggerating. I don't care if you do not abide by some of those laws 24/7, 365 days a year. If you're willing to pay the price if you get pulled over for it, then go for it, just as I'm ready to pay the $300 fine if I get caught drinking while under age. It isn't that big of a deal to me. I think it is one of the most absurd laws in the United States, and I am not going to abide by it just because some hipocrite a-hole tells me I have to. And it isn't a matter of "having" to drink now, it's a matter of wanting to drink and its availability to me and plenty of other people my age.

And last but not least, your little analogy or whatever about "If you're old enough to go to Iraq and die for your country you're old enough to steal and murder people.." That is just stupid. I couldn't find a better word to use for that than stupid. That is how stupid it was. I'm sorry, but there is quite a difference between enjoying a cold beer and robbing or killing someone. For instance, the law. Drinking under age is about the lowest misdemeanor you could possibly get, while robbery, burglary and murder are some of the highest degrees of felony offenses. In addition, crimes I just mentioned are directly affecting another person, with the intent to harm in some way, while with drinking, the only person you are potentially harming is yourself.

Ian Brown 11 years, 1 month ago

And actually, the more I consider your comment, "Oh, they're old enough to go to Iraq. They're old enough to steal and kill someone. No big deal," the more I realize you're right, and that is no longer a hypothetical statement. If they're old enough to go to Iraq, they are old enough to kill someone, because that is what they're doing over there -- killing people. Or I mean, they're neutralizing their opponent... But really, they're killing other human beings, some of which are completely innocent.. so yeah, sorry for being so hard on your old enough to go to Iraq-old enough to kill comment, you actually were right, just as I was right that if you're old enough to go to Iraq and kill someone or get killed you're old enough to kick back a few cold ones.

mom_of_three 11 years, 1 month ago

" Come on parents, get your kids ready for the real world. Do you know how many college kids I employ who do not know how to show up to work on time, do not know how to do laundry, do not know how to check the air in their car tires."

You can tell and show a teenager how to show up to work on time, but after a certain point, it looks a little funny walking them to work, as we used to walk them to school.
It's not the parents who aren't preparing them for the world, but some of the teenagers who don't believe what they are told until they witness it for themselves.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

Like, yeah, I can, like, see how mature you are...

Yes, I do buckle up every time I drive. Yes, I do use my turn signal for every turn and lane change I make. Yes, I do go the speed limit everywhere I drive. I even insist that anyone that rides along with me, even in the back seat, also buckles up, or I won't take them anywhere. Yes, I realize I am one of the few people to do so.

And I don't drink anymore. To me, it just wasn't worth it. It caused me a lot of misery, and while drunk I allowed myself to do things that I never would have if I'd stayed sober.

I don't see the whole fascination with it. Wow. What a terrible thing I'm doing to other people in my life, by not drinking.

Unlike you, I can't afford all those fines and such. Maybe you have parents who will bail you out for every indiscretion that you have?

You can't have a good time with your friends without drinking underage?

Not abiding by the law doesn't make you irresponsible? What other laws do you disregard? If you're willing to disregard one, chances are that you will disregard other laws, if they don't agree with what you want to do.

Yes, that's certainly a responsible and adult point of view.

Yes, the only person you are harming by drinking is yourself...unless you get behind the wheel of a car, because you think you can handle the amount that you drink. Then you potentially put everyone else in harm's way.

And even if you never drink and drive, I'm sure you know plenty of people your own age who do, and perhaps you even supplied the alcohol for them. Do you look the other way then? Do you ignore that law, too?

What a comfort it will be to your parents, if something happens to you due to drinking, or that was exacerbated by drinking, for them to know that it wasn't because of a drunk driver, but "only" from alcohol poisoning, or that you were "only" raped, and not killed. Or do your parents even know that you're drinking underage? Have you told them?

I don't think they should be sending 18-year-olds to Iraq, either. I think they should have to wait until they're 21 to enlist. How's that? Would that solve the whole age thing conflict for you?

Fortunately for you, any of your friends who have gone to Iraq have done so voluntarily. When I was a teenager, many of the kids I kenw HAD to go, whether they wanted to or not, because there was this little thing called the DRAFT. And many of those people I knew came home in body bags. They had no choice. Your friends do. They don't have to enlist.

I do wonder, however, why just saying that you shouldn't drink when you're underage prompted such a violent response. Can't you do without the alcohol for awhile? Do you think you have to party all the time?

Wait until you're older and real life hits you, honey. You'll realize that all those parties and all that drinking were pretty insignificant.

grace00 11 years, 1 month ago

I am the KU student that all of you are so eager to criticize. Not only were my words slightly twisted but I don't think I stated myself clearly. It's a fact- kids are going to drink. Being younger than the majority of you I would dare to say I have much more insight on this than most of you. Whether it be in high school or in college it's going to happen. All I was saying is wouldn't you rather have your kids at home in a safe environment drinking than out in at an uncontrolled rager doing god knows what with god knows who? Not to mention the fact that parents who are more lenient are giving their kids less to rebel against, making drinking not so much of a novelty to begin with and thus losing it's appeal to go out and binge the second it is legal for them to do so. In my experience as being underage, I have seen countless kids taken to hospitals and have had friends die because of alcohol abuse. Ofcourse it is not to be taken lightly but a drink or two at home with the rents instills a sense of responsibility and maturity that revokes the need to go out and get beyond belligerent. To those parents who are hosting ragers at their house- ofcourse they should be held legally responsible. They are legally held to anything that happens medically to those kids as well as distribution to minors. It's ridiculous that a parent would ever submit themselves to that kind of activity.

And to those who have something to say about my parents- get some tact. I have a wonderful relationship with my parents. And no, they were not hosting underage parties at our house. They have instilled amazing morals and qualities in me that clearly you all are lacking.

bugmenot 11 years, 1 month ago

I agree that a lot of kids drink underage, even in high school. I strongly, strongly disagree that parents are being "good people" or "responsible" by hosting a party invovling alcohol even if they take everyone's car keys and force them to stay overnight. Even if they make the boys and the girls sleep in different rooms. Even if they get every kid's permission.

As a parent, you should be absolutely ashamed of yourself for doing something like this. What you're teaching your children is that rules just don't apply to you when you really want to do something. It goes beyond enabling kids' drinking. It even goes beyond facing the reality that your kids likely are drinking underage. Any parent who says to kids "the rules don't apply to you if you don't like them" is wrong and is setting a terrible example for their kids.

If you don't like the rules, work to change them. If you think alcohol use is best learned at home under your guidance, go to the legislature. As someone above said, because of highway funding issues, you probably won't get anywhere. But, just because you don't like a law doesn't mean you don't have to abide by it.

I'm sorry if you feel it's an insult to your parents or your parenting, but if you think it's okay to supply alcohol to minors because they're going to drink anyway and they might as well do it at home, you're not a good parent. You're missing the greater picture. Pot's illegal and lots of kids smoke that. Would you let your kids smoke pot at home? Would you help them find some?

It's about saying to your kids, "Rules don't apply to you if you don't like them," and the damage from that is lifelong.

Ian Brown 11 years, 1 month ago

Crazyks, I don't think I used the word "Like" as many times in my few paragraphs as you did in the sentence in which you were imitating my "immaturity," and the times I did use the word "like," I used it in its proper context. And the reason I came back with such a hostile response is because I don't enjoy when people are so presumptious of me. Just because I drink while underage does not make me irresponsible. I'll admit, there are things I do in my life that people may consider irresponsible, and I might agree with them, but hey, I'm not perfect. I'm 20 years old. I'm a human being. Sorry I don't go the speed limit all the time. I do drink. I am not the only one. However, here are a couple of ways in which I am responsible. I attend my classes everyday -- a majority of my friends cannot say that. I always do the work assigned by the professor. I have a GPA of 3.65 -- not many of my friends can say that either. I do not want to sound conceited, but I just wanted to point out a couple of way's that one may find me at least a little bit responsible.

As for drinking, it is part of being a college student. I don't drink because I think that is what college students should do, I drink because it is around me and I want to drink (not because I have to or someone is forcing it down my throat,) and as long as I don't get behind the wheel, drink in moderate proportions, and don't do anything too stupid, I am not harming anything besides my liver.

And as for getting behind the wheel after drinking, that is not limited to people under the age of 21, so that is irrelevant to our argument.

Anyhow, I'm really sick of arguing, and I believe we both have legitimate arguments and we both have the right to our own opinion, although our opinions seem to be the exact opposite of eachother. Sorry I came off a bit hostile, I just do not like people who have no idea who I am as a person judging me based off of a comment I posted on a highly controversial subject.

bugmenot 11 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, thinking that breaking the law is okay is not a legitimate opinion. It just means that you don't respect that laws that keep you from doing exactly what you want. That's why you sound immature. That, and saying, "I'm not the only one who does it, so it can't be that bad" and listing your GPA as an example of your responsibility. Don't worry, kiddo, you'll grow out of your selfish phase in your mid-20s.

Ian Brown 11 years, 1 month ago

Also, it's "the laws," not "that laws."

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

As for drinking, it doesn't HAVE to be part of being a college student. It's not a requirement for graduation.

I have known plenty of college students who didn't drink underage. They waited until it was legal for them to do so.

You drink because it's around you, and so that's what makes you want to? Well, it's all around me, too, and I don't drink. So it sounds to me as if you are being influenced to a certain extent by your friends.

Getting behind the wheel while drunk does apply to this argument, as we are talking about underage drinking, not drinking for those 21 or over. And just because people over 21 do it doesn't make it okay for you to do it.

What makes you think that just because you don't like the law, that it doesn't apply to you, that you can just ignore it?

And you didn't answer my major your parents know that you do this? Have you been responsible and adult enough to tell them that you blow off the law and do whatever you want to?

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago


Kids that age have sex, too...does this mean that parents should be lenient enough to let it happen in their home?

Because, wouldn't your parents rather have you do it at home, in a safe environment, instead of going out with god knows who to do god knows what?

After all, that would give kids one less thing to rebel over, wouldn't it?

Having a drink with your parents once in awhile, in your own home, when it's only you and your family is not the issue here. The issue is parents who host parties and serve alcohol and know that other people's underage kids will be there. That is wrong, no matter how you look at it.

Ian Brown 11 years, 1 month ago

Yes, my parents know I drink. They are fine with that. They know that I am old enough to make decisions for myself. And I said I drink because it is around me and I want to drink, I didn't say I wanted to drink just because it was around me. And yes, there may be plenty of college students that don't drink, but I can garauntee you a vast majority of them do. You're right, I don't HAVE to drink. It is my CHOICE to drink. And as I said before, I don't drink and drive, and I know it is not an alright thing to do. And our argument was about underage drinking, not drinking driving. Anyone can drink and drive, not just people under 21. No, it is not okay for anyone to drink and drive no matter their age.

But alright, I promise everyone this was my last comment. I'm sick of arguing with someone I don't even know. Take it easy everyone.

grace00 11 years, 1 month ago

I think you need to reread my comment.. Exactly what I said.

paladin 11 years, 1 month ago

The Quest

I've searched, I've searched the avenues of life, the pristine chapels, the Bowery flophouses. I've searched the Halls of Justice, on both sides. I've looked under the leaves and behind the clouds. I've searched through the rain and pain of forgotten memories, broken promises and shattered dreams. I've yearned for the answers to all the questions, some as yet unasked.

I've loved, the earth, the sky, and all the animals, and, I've hated myself!

I've dreamed, I've dreamed of dancing on moonlight and traveling to the stars. I've dreamed of worldly delights, while searching through the bars. I've dreamed of better worlds, with peace and tranquillity. I've seen the cold shoulder of inhumanity, and, Sometimes I've found it to be mine.

I've been, I've been in and out of jails, in and out of Hell. I've been ostracized, penalized, deluded, denuded, and institutionalized.

I've seen, I've seen the deathly gray pall of time passing uselessly by. I've seen the fire of a new dawn, when, Through an alcoholics' haze, I witnessed the birth of a new life, My own!

And now, I have seen --GOD-- and --MYSELF--, and, I am FREE, FREE to be ME

Paul Wilburn

Paul was formerly a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford in England, came to this country to make his living in literature, got into a bottle, made it to the French Quarter, to the Camel Club, to this poem, and SOBRIETY! What a Gift!

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

ibrown, if your parents know about it, and they are fine with it, then I guess that's it. But please know that you're taking a big risk every time you drink.

Those citations won't look very good on your record later when you try to get a job.

shirinisb 11 years, 1 month ago

My parents never drank in the home and I probably had a total of a 6-pack before I turned 21. I occasionally drink now but I've probably been "drunk" meaning (legally intoxicated) less than 20 times. At 25 I am usually happy to be the designated driver and enjoy taking pictures of wasted people in undesireable situations instead.

And on a more serious note: No matter what kind of relationship you have with your children they will look to you for guidiance. If you neglect the law, and allow them to consume toxins (alcohol being expecially toxic to young girls under 100 lbs) then you should not be a parent.

Flame on whinos, flame on.

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