Here I am live-blogging the alcohol and teen tutorial at All-Star Driver, the nation's largest driver ed school, headquartered in Watertown, Connecticut. Thanks to the change in the CT law, teen crashes are down. But alcohol remains, well, a threat.
During the break, the 7 teens allowed me to informally interview them. This generation, it came out, has been self-regulating. They, or at least these 7, make the difference beween drinking and driving and partying with alcohol as long as nobody gets out of control.
One teen delivered a stunning anecdote. She was at a party of about 30 people her age. The hostess was a lawyer. She allowed the kids to drink all the beer they wanted, as long as they didn't get weird. If anyone got sleepy, they could bunk overnight.
Another teen brought up a party he attended. A number of the kids his age brought tents so that they could sleep over. Yeah, this is their version of responsible drinking.
Steve Janelli jumped in and pointed out that maybe just maybe not everyone is as well put together as these 7 and their buddies. There are those who battle their inner demons and traditional lines between okay and not okay behavior can be blurred for them.
This conversation has been provocative. The group is bullish on having the legal age for drinking lowered. If it were, they sense drinking would lose its pull power.