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A father shares his painful lesson

One Wisconsin father recently discussed the lessons he'd taught to his teenage daughter: how to read, how to fish, how to wrestle -- and that it is acceptable to drink alcohol.

Sadly, his daughter was just 16 when she died in a one-car crash seven and a half years ago. She had just left a drinking party for kids too young to legally consume alcohol.

The crash was about 230 miles east of La Crosse, near Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The father said that he doesn't believe peer pressure was what encouraged his daughter to drink.

"I realized myself, and other adults in our culture, taught [her] how to drink her whole life," the father told a local newspaper.

An adult was present at the party at which his daughter drank before crashing her vehicle.

The father is now dedicated to teaching underage people the dangers of drinking. He recently participated in a community event about youth and alcohol.

A Chamber of Commerce representative active in the fight to educate people about underage drinking said at the event that research shows that in Wisconsin, the average child starts consuming alcohol at the age of 13.

"They're drinking to get drunk, and they're drinking very, very quickly," the Chamber of Commerce spokesperson said.

Far too often, those drunken children have access to cars provided to them by their parents. That's when tragedy can strike and a car accident can happen, hurting not only those intoxicated kids, but others who share the roads with them.

We urge all parents to teach their children responsible behavior that includes repetition of the crucial lesson that no one should ever drink and drive.

Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette: "Green Bay teens tell why they like to drink" by Charles Davis: June 18, 2011

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