2009-09-04 / Letters

Underage Drinking in Rockaway

Dear Editor,

Let's face it, underage drinking is and has been part of the culture of Rockaway for half a century, as I know it. As 15 and 16 year olds, we used to travel to Rockaway because we knew we could be served at any of the bars even though the legal age was 18. It seems not much has changed, except for the legal age itself.

Here at Rockaway Beach, many parents condone underage drinking by saying, "At least I know where they are," or "I'm glad they are not doing drugs." Nightly binges take place near our beaches. Check out our yearly St. Patrick's Day parade.

As a parent of returning college students, it is almost a welcome respite not to have to compete with Wing Night, College Night, or Twisted Tuesdays and other names for just about every night of the week that entices underage drinkers to come out and spend money on alcohol. Most people know what is going on but choose to ignore it. You may say this seems ridiculous but it has been going on for decades. What can be done about this? My guess would be accountability but it will be a hard fought battle versus peer pressure. After all, it's a way of life.

WILLIAM JAMES

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