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Last week on The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility's blog, we highlighted an article on Medheadlines.com that discussed the issue of social host laws. Unfortunately, this week we read about the devastating consequences that can occur when teens have access to alcohol.

In the February 25th edition of the Boston Globe, there is an editorial that highlights the deaths of two Massachusetts teenagers, one who was confirmed to have been drinking and another in which alcohol is suspected in her death. It is these tragic stories, which we read about far too often, that push us in our quest for stiffer penalties and tougher social host laws.

It is a fact - youth report their main source of alcohol is from their family or friends.  There are numerous countermeasures that can be implemented to address this issue. A combination of effective penalties such as license suspension and comprehensive enforcement, coupled with public education efforts will enhance each community's efforts to fight this problem. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility supports license suspension penalties, mandatory community service, mandatory fines dedicated to underage drinking prevention, and graduated penalties for repeat offenses. Additionally, we support the passage of social host liability laws that prohibit adults from providing and/or serving alcohol to people under 21.

Working to restrict access to alcohol by those under the legal purchase age is everyone's goal, but to achieve success, we must all take action together and work to change the perception that the underage consumption of alcohol is a rite of passage. As the editorial states, "parents must stand firm."