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MADD Encourages Parents To Talk With Teens About Alcohol

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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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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.

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