Des Plaines, Niles and Park Ridge police departments have kicked off the "Parents Who Host Lose the Most" campaign once again in time for prom and graduation.
The annual campaign in Maine Township is part of an effort to discourage parents from hosting parties for their teenage children and friends where alcohol is served.
"We want our kids to be safe," said Park Ridge Police Chief Frank Kaminski. "We hope parents understand that underage drinking is not a rite of passage, especially when their kids attend prom or celebrate a graduation. It's illegal, unhealthy and also dangerous for teens to drink. Their brains aren't fully developed and alcohol affects their judgment and bodies differently than adults.
"We also want them to avoid drinking and driving," he added.
Kaminski advises parents not to host parties or allow their children to attend parties where alcohol will be served to teens. And if necessary, lock up alcoholic beverages.
"We urge parents to contact other parents to double-check if parties will be alcohol-free and chaperoned, and make sure alcohol isn't brought into their house or on their property by their own children or friends," said Kaminski.
In Illinois, it is illegal for parents or guardians to knowingly permit their residence to be used by anyone under 21 to consume alcoholic beverages. In addition, parents may be liable for supplying alcohol to an individual under the age of 21 if that person hurts himself or someone else, or damages property.
Residents will see banners, yard signs and fliers displayed around town and in local businesses, reminding parents not to be a party to teenage drinking.
MCYAF, the Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation that funds the campaign, is asking residents to "adopt" a sign with the campaign slogan and display it in their yard to increase awareness across the three communities. If you're interested in displaying a sign, contact Tricia at (847) 571-3189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.