Most states (about 36 of the 50) give parents the option of allowing their adult teens to drink at home, but this is being assaulted as well. The attack is being led by school officials, legislators and the MADD mothers (this group’s mission has changed from preventing drinking-and-driving incidents to threatening all who drink).
The worst state in this regard would seem to be Rhode Island, which is trying to make it a criminal offense to knowingly allow underage adults to drink anywhere, as outlined by Vanessa O’Connell, in a Wall Street Journal article from 2004.
Ms. O’Connell wrote about a senior prom drinking party that parents of one senior had permitted in their home. Their concern was that these young adults might drink and drive, so they invited the party into their home. They were careful, taking precautions to make certain that all 35 of these young adults would remain all night, and would not leave until they were sober the next day. Well, of course these young men and women got a little noisy, and a neighbor called the police. Things went downhill rapidly after that. Here were 35 young adults who didn’t drink and drive, and two criminal adult parents who had “risk(ed) arrest and the wrath of their neighbors (to) allow their children to drink at home, where they (could) keep a close eye on the action.”
The MADD mothers had the answer, of course: “We want parents to understand that underage drinking is not just kids being kids, or a rite of passage. It is a serious, even deadly, problem.” This from Ms. Wendy Hamilton, president of those MADD mothers. No willingness to credit these fine parents for keeping 35 young adults safe and off the road.