Langley RCMP warn against dangers of underage drinking

Two recent investigations resulting in youths requiring hospitalization have led Langley RCMP to offer some cautionary words for parents.

The first incident, according to Langley RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Holly Marks, took place at a residence where a group of nearly 50 youths attended a party where alcohol was permitted.

One young girl consumed a large amount of liquor before and during the party, said Marks, and was taken to hospital when she began to hallucinate, scream, spasm, and cry.

The second event involved a smaller group of young people who were drinking.

Marks said it is believed one young boy accidentally asphyxiated, and he’s still in hospital nearly two weeks later.

Police are particularly concerned about parents who provide alcohol to young people, or allow them to drink.

“There is fallacy in the belief that allowing young people to drink and party in a residence is safe,” said Superintendent Derek Cooke, head of the Langley RCMP detachment. “Over the years, I have heard of many such incidents, and the message we should be giving to our children is that it simply is not appropriate for them to be drinking at all.

“No matter how responsible we like to think we are as adults, we simply cannot control the outcomes of young people drinking.”

In B.C., parents are allowed to serve alcohol to their own children in their own home.  

“However, there are restrictions on servicing alcohol to your children’s friends,” Marks cautioned.

She offered some rules and regulations parents should keep in mind:

• It is illegal to serve alcohol to a person under the age of 19.

• You could be held legally liable for any accidents or injuries that occur on your property.

• If alcohol is involved, you could be accountable for any harm your party guests experience after leaving your residence.

“In other words,” Marks clarified, “you’re taking risks by hosting a party that involves alcohol. So, be strong, parents – make tough choices. Keep in mind the legalities and safety concerns. Don’t host an underage drinking party.”

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