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Prom & Graduation are no excuse for allowing underage drinking

Connecticut’s "Set the Rules" kicks off “Parents Pledge” campaign Prom and graduation... They're rites of passage that all too often occur while parents turn a blind eye and allow a "grown up" night out for their kids. This spring, a broad coalition of state agencies is teaming up to remind parents that it's up to them to "Set the Rules" about alcohol. "A word to the parents who think they are doing that by allowing teenagers to drink at their homes during a 'grown-up' night: Plain and simple – it’s a bad idea in so many ways," said Patricia Rehmer, MSN, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services. "Not only does it send the wrong message to your kids and their friends – it is putting them in danger - and putting you in danger of breaking the law." The "Set the Rules" campaign drives home the message that parents need to keep alcohol out of the hands of children they host in their homes, or be subject to arrest, fines, and even jail. And from a health standpoint, alcohol consumption has long term effects on brain development in underage drinkers. The central theme of this year’s campaign is a “Parent Pledge” in which parents can win an alcohol-free prom or graduation “Celebrating Success Safely” party for their teen’s school. Parents can pledge by simply clicking “settherulesct.org.” This comprehensive public awareness campaign is being implemented in cooperation with the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management; the departments of Children and Families, Consumer Protection - Division of Liquor Control, Education, Emergency Services and Public Protection, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Motor Vehicles, Public Health and Transportation; the divisions of Criminal Justice and Public Defender Services; and the Judicial Branch. The Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) and the Connecticut Food Association (CFA) have also joined the campaign, which runs throughout prom and graduation season. CAS is alerting parents statewide through their member schools about the legal and health issues of hosting underage drinking parties. CFA is distributing posters and in-store PA announcements to their member stores and supporting parents in their efforts to host alcohol-free prom, graduation or end of year “Celebrating Success Safely” party through a "Parents Pledge" campaign.

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