Monday, June 9, 2008

Who is to blame when it comes to underage drinking and sex?

There are underage boys and girls getting ID’s that gives them preserved legal ages. They use these to get into clubs, bars and buy alcohol. This is bad enough. They are out drinking and partying and doing everything we as parents don’t want them to be doing. Now for the most part it is kids 16 and older doing this but there are kids as young as 13 getting into bars. They look older then they are and the have the ID to back it.

There needs to be some changes with whom we hold responsible for the results. Do we need to start cracking down on the stores that are selling the ID, the bars and stores selling the alcohol, the parents or the kids? Usually it is the bar or store selling alcohol that pays the price, or fine. What about the store that made the ID for kids in the first place. What consequences do they have to face? These kids are not blameless; they are the ones who get the fake ID in the first place.

Then you have the poor smuck who thinks the kid is of age and has sex with him or her. Who pays the price there? Sure there are people praying on the underage, but if you think you are with someone who is legal, and they have the ID to prove it, who is responsible here? Who gets the label pedophile and jail time? Not the kid. This is where an innocent gets to pay the consequences. There needs to be a change in the law to respond to this type of instance. There is a large difference between someone knowingly having sex with a minor and someone having a one-night stand with someone they think is 21. They should not be treated the same.

So who is responsible? Those that provide the fake ID should be hit the hardest. Making it harder to get the ID that tricks people makes sense to me. Clubs, bars and stores that sell alcohol should be next if they knowingly sell to a minor, the fake ID should not be held against them if it is of good quality. You should not be penalized for selling to someone you think is legal. Same for the person who has sex with the 21 year old who is actually 14 but looks 21 and has the ID to prove it. How can that person be held responsible for having sex with a minor when all the information they had said otherwise?

That leaves the parents and the kids. How much blame should be placed on the parents of kids who are out at bars, clubs or buying booze? Should they not know what is going on and where their kids are? Sure ask that of the parent whose kid slips out of the house once everyone is asleep or the one who’s kid is supposedly at a sleepover or working. There is a point where you just do not have the control and yet somehow you, the parent, are being held responsible for your teenager’s actions. This one I have a hard time with because in one way a parent is responsible for their children but at the same time I feel that there are circumstances that the parents have done everything that can be reasonably expected and then some.

So whom should the responsibility fall on, the teenagers getting the fake ID’s in the first place! They are knowingly breaking the law and should be the ones to deal with the law, not the people they are tricking. This is not some innocent kid in the wrong place at the wrong time. They had to go out and get the ID made with the intent to use it to break the law. There should be some consequences for these kids to face, Juvenal jail time or something. It is fraud and should be treated as such. These are not innocent victims and should not be treated as such. The bars, clubs, stores, sex partners and parents for the most part are the victims here.

From the time I was 12 years old I could get into bars, clubs and buy alcohol at the liquor store with out ID. I looked as if I was in my 20 with out make-up on. I was not carded once until one week before my 18th birthday. In Canada 18 years is legal to buy alcohol. At age 13 I had 20-year-old guys and older trying to date me thinking I was the same age as them, and I was not in a bar or club at the time. If I could do this without ID think about how much easer it is with fake ID. The irony is that I don’t drink, then or now, nore did I go to clubs or bars when I was under age. At 12 I went into the liquor store to pick up some brandy for the Christmas cakes I was making and was able to get help picking it out and then bought it with out being questioned or carded. So my Mother would send me in to get her alcohol well she went shopping. A few times she took me to bars and clubs and found it funny that no one thought twice about letting me in. What could I have gotten away with at that age today with a fake ID?

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