BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Talk about wine at dinner. This is a national day for parents to sit the kids down and talk to them about drinking.

Pat Warren reports Mothers Against Drunk Driving will help you figure out what to say.

Did you drink when you were young? Did your parents tell you not to? Expect these questions when the subject of drinking comes up at home. And it came up in the worst way for Alyssa Todaro’s high school class.

“I had I think six students in my high school killed in a two-year span because of alcohol. And after the first one we had hoped that things would change, but that just wasn’t the case,” Todaro said.

It was the worst case for Alisa Joy Withers out for a ride with friends.

“The boys drank a lot of alcohol and on the way home the driver — who was one of the boys — lost control of the car,” said Jan Withers, MADD.

Alisa was killed in that car crash.

In memory of her daughter and in memory of her friends, Jan Withers and Todaro are promoting Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s PowerTalk 21. Parents are encouraged to talk to kids to prevent tragedies similar to theirs and those seen at University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.

“They come to me disfigured, they come to me unable to talk, unable to walk, sometimes paralyzed, and sometimes dead,” said a Shock Trauma employee.

“We’re the safety net for the citizens of Maryland but we don’t want to see any of you, especially our youngsters, coming through our doors,” said Dr. Mayur Narayan, Center for Injury Prevention and Policy.

A handbook walks parents through what could be life-saving conversations with their teens about drinking. Todaro, now 21, helped develop the strategy.

“I think it needs to start when you’re in the same household living under their rules because that’s where it builds,” Todaro said.

According to MADD, one in every five 10th-graders and one in every three high school seniors got drunk last month. That’s why this is a national day to start talking to kids about alcohol. There is no day to stop.

Click here for more information about MADD.

Comments (6)
  1. sheriff willie says:

    Booze is glorified everywhere & is available. Kids emulate their parents bad lazy habits & when the hormones kick in, they use booze to exhibit their inhibitions. We all try it when we come of age & most of us outgrow that period. Still others, fall prey to depression, alcoholism & a life of crime & social behavior unfitting society.

  2. FEED UP! says:

    I work P/T (I work a full and p/t job…there are plenty out there) in a Liquor store and it amazes me how many MADD bumper stickers and tags I see! Some of these MADD Mom’s are buying booze for their kids and their friends because they are all staying overnight and no one will be driving anywhere (they want to be cool Mom’s). You know you can “bond” with your chld in other ways! Be a MOTHER and not a friend…

    1. AT says:

      It’s perfectly legal in MD for parents to buy their kids alcohol as long as they’re with them, at when it’s being drank. Look up the law. Tons of other states have this as well.

      1. Nitesh says:

        As far as penarts drinking in front of their children.First of all alcohol is legal and is supposed to be for adults but we all know how that goes.I am considered a light drinker in that I have a beer with dinner.I never drink to excess.I think as a parent you can lead by example in making responsible choices.I have an open relationship with my daughter and frequently have talked about the negative consequences to excessvive drinking and drug use and what it does to the brain.I am always telling her to think before she acts or speaks and make good decisions.I am hopeful that she makes good choices in high school and college otherwise she will need to suffer and live with the consequences of poor decisions.

  3. AT says:

    Drinking age should be 16 for beer/wine and 18 for liquor, works just fine in Europe. But, the American culture can’t handle that. Look at who our founding fathers were, a bunch of cast-outs from Britain. Our culture stems from them. People in this country have the biggest stick up their rear, that even the thought of drinking under age 21 is absurd. But 18 year olds can go fight and die for their country, but can’t have a beer. They can get married at 18, but can’t toast with champagne. It’s ridiculous.

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