April 18, 2016
To My Rye Brook Friends and Neighbors:
I am writing to ensure that you are aware of your obligations with respect to teen consumption of drugs and alcohol. The use of alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs by underage Rye Brook teens is a major concern to the Village. Each of these substances lower inhibitions and impair judgment, coordination, and speech, which often result in physical injury, automobile accidents, sexual assault, overdose, or even death. This impairment can occur even at low levels of blood alcohol concentration.
Unfortunately, too often underage drinking in Rye Brook has been inappropriately considered a normal, unavoidable rite of passage for high school and college students, and many times it occurs with parental consent. But there is nothing normal about the fatal car crashes or teenagers being sent to the hospital due to underage drinking. There is nothing normal about the effects of toxicity resulting from the ingestion of alcohol and other drugs and binge drinking - all that can cause death or near death experiences. Furthermore, prescription drug abuse has led to the growing heroin epidemic, which has been highlighted by various news organizations.
Parents should be aware that they have a special responsibility regarding what goes on in their homes. NY State law provides that any person (including an older brother or sister age 16 and older) who gives or sells any alcoholic drink, illegal or prescription drug to someone under the age of 21 can face prosecution. The Rye Brook Police Department has been and will continue to vigorously enforce this law. If the Rye Brook Police Department discovers underage drinking in a private home, the homeowners may face prosecution or civil litigation if a child is injured or becomes ill as a result of drinking that occurred in a home whether or not a parent is present.
Unfortunately, many times underage drinking occurs in small, intimate gatherings in the homes by teens often with an adult present. Sometimes adolescents consume large quantities of alcohol in a short amount of time before going to a party. They may bring alcohol and/or other illegal substances into your home in concealed containers. If your child is going to a party, it is always a good idea to speak to the parents of the party host to make sure that they will be home while the party is going on and also that they will not allow teens to drink alcohol or ingest other illegal substances. If you are not going to be home, please lock up your alcohol and prescription medications. Please do not allow parties to be held in your home if you do not plan to supervise the party.
Finally, you can proactively report to the Rye Brook Police locations that you suspect may be hosting underage drinking. The police department will pay attention to the area and will make contact with the homeowners to gather additional information. The police department has found this to be an effective deterrent.
You can report your suspicions in a few different ways:
The Village of Rye Brook takes very seriously its responsibility to protect our residents from the dangers of underage drinking and drug abuse. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to myself or Police Chief Greg Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thank you for your cooperation.
April 18, 2016