WSAW - Community - Headlines

Local 'Parents Who Host, Lose the Most' Campaign Surges Ahead

For many families now is a time of celebration, as high school seniors graduate and summer fun begins.

But before you host a party for your kids and their friends, you may want to consider whether alcohol should be on the menu.

Local alcohol awareness advocates are driving home the 'Parents who Host, Lost the Most' campaign.

And in Marathon county, those involved are urging parents and adults to keep alcohol away from those under 21, as graduation parties get underway.

Debra Burgess is concerned that Wisconsin has the highest rate of underage drinking in the country.

As Wausau School District's drug free community coordinator, it's something she isn't proud of.

Burgess wants the public to know that adults hosting a party and serving alcohol to minors is against the law, and can immeasurable negative consequences.

"It's not just about one or two drinks is not gonna hurt, but it's what message is it sending? It is against the law. Do we wanna send the message that it's okay to break the law?"

However it is legal for parents to allow their children to drink in their presence.

"I wouldn't serve alcohol to kids, nor quite honestly if my son was going to somebody else's party I wouldn't want them to be serving it to him," said Roxann Zoromski, whose son graduated from Wausau East High School Tuesday.

For her son's upcoming graduation party, alcohol will be off-limits to minors.

"They don't need it. They absolutely don't need it," she said.

When it comes down to it, the easiest place for teens to get beer might be right next to the milk.

"Most young people have reported that they get the alcohol primarily from their homes, or from adults....either parents or older siblings," said Burgess.

"We will have alcohol present, but it will be watched very closely to make sure we don't allow underage drinking," said Jeff Canniff.

Canniff is the father of a graduating senior, he's also an insurance agent for American Family Insurance.

"There's an exclusion for coverage for underage drinking," he said.

So if you provide a minor alcohol at your home and they get into an accident or have to have their stomach pumped, your homeowners insurance likely will not protect you. Even if the incident occurs off your property...it will be traced back to you.

Parents will have to pay with their own assets.

Canniff says your provider may drop you, and it could be very difficult to find somebody to pick you up.

Parents who host also risk being sued. If you give alcohol to a minor and they hurt someone or damage property, the responsibility falls on your lap.

And because providing alcohol to minors is illegal, doing so could eventually land you behind bars.

"As you're growing up and you have young kids you have to child proof your home, well now you have to teenage proof your home," said Canniff.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to comments@wsaw.com.
Please provide detailed information.
All comments must adhere to the WSAW.com discussion rules.

powered by Disqus
WSAW-TV 1114 Grand Ave. Wausau, WI 54403
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 46846417