By Pat Stacey
The possibility of Tyler facing a wet – dry vote this fall has an interesting situation brewing that quietly exists in many households across east Texas and that is the question of parents letting their teens drink before they are 21. There have been several major auto accidents recently involving teens and alcohol and, as a parent and in my position, I hear about drinking at teen parties. There are some compelling arguments for parents allowing their teens to drink in their presence; it takes away the mystery, it diffuses the rebellious angle, it is a controlled environment, just to name a few. But the practice by parents of providing alcohol for their kids is one thing, providing it for their kids' friends is past the limit of reason. If parents are allowing their kids and their friends to drink, the parents providing the booze should most definitely be held responsible if one of the party guests leaves and causes an accident. The decision to drink or not to drink is a personal decision and it is wrong for someone else's parents to make that decision for their child's friends. The liability issue already exists for bar owners as to their responsibility if a patron leaves in an intoxicated state and causes an accident and it should be no different in cases such as a teen drinking party at home. Our teens have enough challenges within their peer group and it should not involve alcohol being provided by someone outside of their family. It reeks of irresponsibility and must be kept in check.