Have underage drinking in the house? Teens getting a littke agressive and making your life a living hell? As long as there’s been laws regarding the age for liquor consumption there’s been kids finding ways to get it. So what’s a parent to do? You can’t watch them all day and even when you do, they find ways to sneak it anyway. But you can’t make it that easy for them to get it so here’s a few ideas to help slow down the process.
#1 – Not in My House Rule
It’s amazing that parents today go with the “Well they’re going to drink, so might as well let them do it under my roof” excuse. Well, that’s exactly what it is – an excuse. And there’s no excuse. As a parent, it’s pretty easy to look the other way, but experience shows that it’s not the right message to send, especially since it starts out harmless and will normally progress to more and more alcohol being consumed. So you take the keys, talk to them, monitor them etc. Fact remains – word gets out that you’re there when it’s going on and/or god forbid something happens, you’re on the hook. Opinion – it’s just not worth it.
#2 – Lock Up Your Supply
No one says you have to throw out all the booze – but would recommend locking it up. They’re called cabinet locks and you only need to know how wide the door where you’re going to lock up your stuff. Sure a lockable closet also works. Check out this example from Lowes – Click Here. The lock kit is less than $5 and it takes just a drill and a screwdriver to install. Put one in and it really works well. But remember, it only works if you keep it locked.
#3 – Lock the Basement and Garage Fridge
A local policeman told me that one of the best places kids are getting their supplies is from the garage or basement refrigerator. So when I first caught the kids they said “it was theirs”. So know your brand, change your brand, know the “Born on Dates” or even mark your cans/bottles with a sharpee marker. Once you get beyond that, it’s time to lock the fridge. These options are a good way to deter, but sure they’ll be able to pry it off if they want, but then get ready for another discussion. The one to recommend is the Marine Lock refrigerator lock. Less than $30 and comes with either a combo lock or a keyed lock. Just make sure that when you open your fridge, make sure you spin the combo, cause if you leave it unlocked, they’ll check the bottom to see the combo and then you’re back to counting what’s inside cause they’ll be dumb enough to go back in…..made that mistake once!
#4 – Know Your Bottled Water Brand
Since kids can’t seem to drink from a glass or a water fountain, they all seem to be carrying around water bottles. Sad fact is you can’t tell the difference between a water bottle with water, vs a water bottle filled with vodka. So make sure that you know the brand of water you have in the house. And make sure you inspect the backpacks that come in the house. Lastly, check the labels. Lastly – ask for a smell and smell it. Make them know that you know that trick.
# 5 Dye Your Clear Liquor
Like to keep your vodka or tequila in the freezer? Great! Now one thing to remember is that kids often take your vodka and put it into water bottles and replace the vodka with water. When you find a frozen bottle of vodka in the freezer remember one thing – VODKA DOESN’T FREEZE. So once again, it’s time for a conversation. But one thing you can do is to slip a little dye in your vodka, gin, or whatever. Whatever color you make it, at least it’s a signal that they know you’re not going to make it easy.
#6 – Get a BAC Breathalyzer Tester
Here’s one that comes with mixed blessings – Online you can purchase Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) breathalyzers – For less than $20 you can get one that allows you to test the honesty of the usually dishonest kids that said they “only had one”. But it’s also good to make sure that you don’t let someone get into a car if they blow anything that shows a number greater than 0.00. Check out the BACTrack Keychain model – Click Here – $29.95 retail but less than $20 on the web. If you have to ask, you might as well just check. The mixed blessing is we’re finding once in a while the kids are taking them to parties and seeing who blows the highest or they’re trying ways to fake it out (e.g. eating potato chips or using mouthwash).
Be sure to write in if you have any other suggestions. We’ll be glad to pass them along.