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Spring break plans spark need for underage DUI reminder

Even though we are still in the thick of winter, this is the time when families and students start planning their spring break vacations. The Washington Post recently reported on a conversation that's taking place within a community, its school and families regarding underage drinking. 

A popular vacation destination for many in the U.S. who want to escape winter is Mexico. A group of students and their families from a Maryland school are going on a trip to the sunny destination, where the presence of sun and sand is not the only difference from their home. The legal drinking age is lower in the tropical destination.

The acting principal of a high school is concerned about what students' parents wrote in a letter about the upcoming spring break vacation. She worries that the parents behind the letter condone underage drinking, as long as the teens engage in drinking alcohol "responsibly."

The drinking age in Mexico is 18, a significant difference compared to the legal reality here in Pennsylvania and the U.S. overall. A valid concern is that drinking attitudes among parents and other adults who are close with teens can impact the chances that a teen will drink while under 21. Underage drinking alone is against the law. And if a teen is caught drinking and driving, consequences become even more severe. 

No matter how a parent might feel about their teen consuming alcohol, West Chester law takes underage DUIs seriously. Parents should do all that they can to prevent their children from getting involved in the criminal justice system at all. If a teen is charged with underage DUI, his or her family should seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer who has experience battling juvenile claims. 

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