Community leaders asking parents to stop teen drinking - FOX10 News | WALA

Community leaders asking parents to stop teen drinking

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Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack speaks during a news conference at the Drug Education Council. Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack speaks during a news conference at the Drug Education Council.
ROBERTSDALE, AL (WALA) -

The Drug Education Council, along with more than 10 other agencies and organizations are demanding parents step up when it comes to underage drinking.

This warning comes two weeks after former Spanish Fort football player, Cameron Harrison, was arrested and accused of raping an unconscious girl at a house party.  Police say the party was held by Cathy Roberts, who was later arrested for allegedly allowing underage drinking.

Community leaders say they want to start a social change, letting parents know that teen drinking is unacceptable.

About 2 dozen community leaders from the Baldwin County School System, the Sheriff’s Office, juvenile court and other agencies stood together at a news conference to send their message, all demanding more responsibility from parents who allow or encourage underage drinking.

They say house parties have become a growing trend, and parents are often ignoring the problem.

"They're 15, they're 14, they're 13,” said Sheriff Huey Hoss Mack. “The average age in the United States of America right now for a kid to be introduced to drug or alcohol is 11 or under.”

Baldwin County Superintendent Eddie Tyler also made a request to other role models including coaches.

"My message to male or female coaches, you have such a big influence on your athletes and what they do and I would hope you step up that message up about making right decisions," Tyler said.

Virginia Guy, Executive Director of the Drug Education Council says underage drinking often goes hand in hand with violence and sexual assaults.

“95 percent of all violent crimes among teens and 90 percent of sexual assaults involve the use of alcohol by the assailant, the victim or both,” Guy said.

 Hosting a house party with underage drinking is currently a misdemeanor offense.

The Baldwin County Sheriff says they’re currently talking about making it a felony under certain circumstances – for example if, as a result of the party, someone was seriously injured or killed.

To make this happen, new legislation would have to be passed.

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