It is not easy to convince your kid sometimes not to engage in underage drinking or smoking things that are deemed illegal under North Carolina general statutes. So share this developing story out of Johnston County.
The police went back and tried to find out everyone at this party who might have been engaged in illegal activity, and they have cited a number of them. Which is interesting.
So what I would tell my son or daughter is that if you are at a party where there is under-age drinking, it is possible that someone is going to leave the party and get into an accident.
And so there is a possibility that in an effort to stamp out underage drinking, the authorities will quickly backtrack and try to find out everyone who was at that party and who was drinking and doing other things they shouldn't have, and start showing up at their front doors, asking questions and issuing citations.
What this means, for a 17-year-old kid, is that even if you were briefly at a party, had a quick beer, and left, but someone saw you drinking, the next day, a police officer may be at your door.
Now your kid may be able to beat that rap, but only after spending a few hundred or even thousand dollars on legal fees. Not to mention the enormous hassle and the questions from colleges that have policies unfavorable to high school seniors who get arrested.
Since you never know, if you are a 17-year-old kid, what party is going to be tied to a highly publicized motor vehicle accident involving alcohol or other drugs, it's a good idea to not be seen with a beer or joint at a party, and it's a better idea not to go to parties where you think there will be underage drinking and such.
Now 17-year-olds are still developing, judgment-wise, and sometimes even the most logical arguments don't register. I have expertise here, both as a former 17-year-old and as a parent who shared responsibility for raising two children into and out of their teens.
But most kids will understand that there are other kids out there who will, if squeezed hard enough by the police, give up their names.
So the conversation might go like this: These kids were at a party, and there was drinking and smoking, and then a bad accident happened, and the next thing you know, a bunch of kids who might have only thought they were doing some harmless recreational stuff were in big, expensive trouble that will fill their lives with major hassles for months or more. As Ferris Bueller said to Cameron after the unfortunate Ferrari incident, you don't want this much heat.