Give Teenagers Choices Other Than Drinking

The New York Times, Westchester Weekly
January 12, 2003

To the Editor:

Westchester nightclubs like Arena in New Rochelle and Pearl in White Plains that offer teenage nights should be applauded for providing young people with dry weekend alternatives (“Dancing in the Dark,” Jan. 5).

Teenagers living in the suburbs, especially those not in possession of a driver’s license, are extremely limited in the types of activities available to them on the weekends. With few or no organized activities offered, teenagers often resort to risky behavior involving underage alcohol consumption.

In light, however, of the arrest of 26 teenagers at a New Year’s Eve party at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel last week and last year’s death of a Harrison student related to underage drinking, it is clear that efforts by local businesses to provide nondrinking alternatives are not enough.

Local officials must understand that Westchester’s current underage drinking crisis will only be eased through increased enforcement coupled with the creation of alternatives like nightclub teenage nights. Only when dry weekend options exist for Westchester teenagers will the perpetuation of underage drinking start to be eased.


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