Mesa Schools Punish Underage Drinking. Will Potentially Reduce Drinking And Driving Statistics
Public Schools in Mesa have created new discipline rules for students participating in athletic programs who are caught drinking under age. According to the new rules, the first violation will result in suspension from twenty-percent (20%) of future competitions, and the second violation will result in suspension from fifty-percent (50%) of future competitions. The rules were created after complaints that cheerleaders were being punished more severely for underage teenage drinking than were other athletes. For example, on April 2nd, a Red Mountain High School cheerleader was cited for drinking underage. As a result, the cheerleader was expelled from the cheerleading squad and was not allowed to try out for the squad the following season. On the other hand, students involved in other sports cited for underage drinking received punishments such as running laps or being required to sit out a game. District athletic director Steve Hogan said the new rules will provide the minimum disciplinary guidelines for all students involved in underage teenage drinking. According to Mr. Hogan, “(Coaches) can be stricter but not more lenient. This will be a good base.”
Unfortunately, underage alcohol drinking usually results in drinking and driving underage and startling drinking and driving statistics. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4767 teenagers died in automobile accidents in 2004. The CDC further notes that teenage drivers are responsible for twelve percent (12%) of all road-related fatalities. Even more startling, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that twenty-three percent (23%) of teenage drivers involved in automobile accident fatalities had a blood-alcohol content above .08.
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