Cox Urges Caution During 2007 Prom and Graduation Season
With prom and graduation season upon us it becomes increasingly important for parents, teachers and friends alike to be vigilant against the leading killer of teens in Pennsylvania, reminds state Rep. Jim Cox (R - Berks). 
More teens die from alcohol-related injuries than from all other causes combined. This all too available substance has been proven to be a frequent contributing factor in the three leading causes of death among 15-24 year olds – accidents, homicides and suicides.
Alcohol has become an increasingly real concern for parents across the country. The average age of a child first experimenting with alcohol is 12.8 years old, roughly the age of a seventh-grader. In fact it remains the choice illegal substance among children, with one in four middle/high school students reporting alcohol use in the past 30 days. Almost 15 percent reported excessive (i.e. binge) drinking in the past two weeks alone. 
Studies have shown that the likelihood of addiction is much higher among those reporting to have begun drinking before age 15. In fact, those children experience addiction rates up to four times as high than those reporting drinking only after age 21.
Nationwide, 290 alcohol-related deaths involving victims aged 15-20 were reported during the 2005 prom season.
Laws are already very strict for underage drivers. Currently, any person under 21 can be arrested for driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level of 0.02 percent, essentially any measurable amount of alcohol. The penalty for underage drinking is a fine of up to $500 and driver’s license suspension.
Cox encourages parents to talk with their children about the laws and the dangers related to drinking. Another way to help is a simple phone call. By calling 1-888-UNDER-21 (1-888-863-3721) anyone can report underage drinking parties whether they are planned or in progress. Callers have the option of doing so anonymously. 
For more information visit Rep. Cox’s Web site at and click on “Alcohol Education.”
Rep. Jim Cox
129th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(610) 670-0139
(717) 772-2435
Contact: Joe Pistorio
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