For Immediate Release - April 23, 2008

D.A. Blodgett Teams With Schools, Police And Parents To Combat Underage Drinking

With prom and graduation season approaching, Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett is teaming with schools, police and parents in an effort to curb underage drinking.

"These joyful occasions should not be marred by senseless tragedies," said District Attorney Blodgett. "Alcohol is the leading cause of death among people under 21, and kills more kids than all other illicit drugs combined. These deaths are not just the result of motor vehicle accidents, but of alcohol poisoning, drowning, falls and other incidents. In addition, underage drinkers are more likely to be victims of rape or physical assaults."

District Attorney Blodgett, police chiefs, superintendents and school principals are in the process of sending letters to the parents of high school juniors and seniors outlining the major roles mothers, fathers and guardians have in helping their children make good decisions to keep them safe.

Included in the mailings is a brochure about social host liability, and a flyer with suggestions for parents to help them talk with their children about making wise choices.

"Research shows that a parent's influence is the primary reason that teens do not use alcohol or drugs," said District Attorney Blodgett. "This is such a happy and important time in their lives. Working together, we can make this prom and graduation season safe for all of our children."