Alcohol is alcohol, whether it be a beer or a shot of vodka. Parents should not assume their children are “ok” if they are drinking a few beers just because it is not “hard liquor.”

What to Look For:

Slurred speech
Poor coordination
Smell of alcohol on clothing, breath
Strange mood (sudden change or unusual extreme for the individual)
Falsified identification (age changed)
Bottles saved as souvenirs
Signs your child has thrown up
Difficulty waking up in the morning (hangover)
Excessive thirst in the morning

If your child comes home from a party and appears to be intoxicated, it is generally best to deal with the consequences in the morning after they have slept off the effects. If the child comes home intoxicated and had the car for the evening, the keys should be taken away from them immediately and they should have driving privileges removed. Many states have zero-tolerance laws for underaged drinkers who drive. This means that any measurable amount of alcohol in the system will earn them a DUI and the serious consequences of that charge.