2009-08-21 / Letters

Underage Drinking

Dear Editor,

I would like to know why underage drinking is overlooked so massively in the Rockaway area. It is obvious that bar owners as well as the 100 Precinct turns a blind eye to the under 21 drinking population, as do the majority of parents. Recently, I was at a dinner at the New Irish Circle and witnessed 16-year-olds drinking at the bar. I went up to a manager and told them I was very uncomfortable with this situation, and his response was, "If they have ID, they can drink."

I was at the beach this past 4th of July weekend, and the amount of underage kids drinking on the beach was outrageous. The worst thing was, with their inebriation, came foul language and lewd actions. My husband actually asked a group of inebriated girls to please watch their language. One of the girls replied, "There are too many old people on the beach, we can do whatever the f—- we want." Enough said.

Last year there was a huge fight by St. Francis School on St. Patrick's Day. Children were hurt and the police were called. It was a mess. The following day at mass, the priest decided to address the situation. He had the sense to place the majority of the blame on the parents. Most parents today either turn a blind eye to the underage drinking, or permit their teens to drink at home, under their watchful eye, or perhaps worst of all, tell their children it is okay to drink, as long as they are "responsible drinkers." Being able to play flip cup or beer pong in the basement is by no means responsible. Teens don't simply have one or two drinks. They take it to an extreme. The priest commented that parents need not to be friends with their children, but to be parents. He was right.

I understand that many people feel that this law should be changed, that teens should be allowed to drink at 18. Arguments for or against this aside, the legal age for drinking alcohol in the United States is 21. Why can't it be enforced?

KATHLEEN F.

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