VIDEO: Ex-Police Chief: Don't Let Kids Drink

John Swanson, Hopatcong teen talk raising alcohol awareness among parents, children.

In October, several Hopatcong teenagers placed stickers on products .

Around that time, a video—"Empowering Parents to Prevent Underage Drinking in New Jersey"—was shot, featuring professionals from throughout the state. The video also boasted interviews with then-Hopatcong Police Chief John Swanson and Eldina Kucevic, a student.

While the whole video promotes a worthwhile message, we compiled Swanson and Kucevic's quotes for you. For more, click on the video above.

Swanson at 6:35

Making parents and other adults aware of this danger is one of our most difficult tasks. Because people think that alcohol is either a rite of passage to adulthood or that since it's legal, why should we allow the legislature to decide at what age people can drink and they can't drink? The problem is that they don't look at the larger picture. They're not seeing the truth in the alcohol dependency that can develop. So, therefore, what we really need to do is not just educate the kids that it's a bad choice to be consuming alcohol at a young age, we need to get to the adults, the parents, the guardians, to the older siblings. Those are the ones that really need to understand that they're taking a tremendous leap in irresponsible behavior by thinking that they know best, without knowing the facts.

Kucevic at 9:48

Sticker shock is a program that's designed to reach out to adults that may purchase alcohol and provide it to minors and it just raises awareness about how you can [be sentenced to] 180 days in jail and you could be charged with a $1,000 fine

Swanson at 10:10

The whole idea is to make people who are above the legal age to puchase alcohol aware of the dangers not only to the underage people that they may distribute that alcohol to but also the personal consequences. It is a crime to make available or to distribute alcohol to a person underage who is not directly related to that person as a guardian. So people may not understand that they put the child at risk, but they're putting themselves at great risk as well. And that's what sticker shock is designed to do.

Swanson at 13:25

The most important thing a parent needs to do, in almost any aspect of raising a child, is to do exactly what your title says: be the parent. Set the rules. Set the standards. Don't allow the child to set those standards. Talk to your children. Talk to friends of your children. Encourage parents to take an active role in this discussion.

Tom Alciere April 02, 2012 at 11:54 PM
There are legitimate ways to reduce underage drunkenness, but using gun-toting goons in bulletproof vests as weapons of unprovoked violence, to intimidate Mr. and Mrs. twenty into living a healthy, alcohol-free lifestyle is not one of them. In a free country, the citizen would freely decide what to drink, (water, wine or turpentine). If you drink, you drink. If you die, you die.
Betty Reid April 04, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Did you even watch this video? It is geared to parents and other adults to be responsible about drinking. There was some very good information in it. I don't know what you are talking about when you mentioned gun-toting goons in bulletprofit vests. Chief Swanson is shown with kids from our town and they do noit look like they were intimidated by him. The other policeman was discussing what can happen to adults that supply alcohol to minors. Your theory of you drink, you drink; if you die, you die. Unfortunately, a lot of drunk drivers kill other people who are innocent.


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