A Student Reflects on Receiving a Alcohol-Related Citation


A red cup is a symbol of underage drinking, but not its consequences. Photo by Rampage Staff

A red cup is a symbol of underage drinking, but not its consequences. Photo by Rampage Staff

It started out like any other party: dancing, beer pong and shots. That is until more than 14 police cars pulled up to the house and cops flooded the party. Some students got away, some students were able to hide, but many other students and I spent the rest of the night waiting to be administered a breathalyzer test, given an underage drinking citation and for my parents pick them up.

The following week after the party, also known as “judgment week,” was not a good time. At first, it was cool to get a citation. It was the talk around school. I was able to say that I was a part of “citation nation” or “the famous 41” and tell the story to all of my friends. Soon enough the rumors erupted and my self-esteem was at an all-time low. My friends began to act as if they were better than I was a�� not because they did not participate in drinking a�� but because they were not caught. I felt as though my teachers began looking at me differently and my friend’s parents labeled me as “trouble.”

Then, as if the punishment from my parents was not enough, the administration suspended all student-athletes from their sports teams. However, there was an upside. To get back on his or her sports team, all a student had to do was attend Screening and Assessment Services for Children and Adolescents, also known as SASCA.

At SASCA, my mom and I had to sit down with a representative and discuss my “issues.” The representatives basically talk to you like your life is headed in a downward spiral. Since I made one mistake, apparently, it will be nearly impossible to get into a decent college, I should be grounded forever and to top it off, apparently my risk for death as a teenager just severely increased. Awesome, that is exactly what I needed to hear. SASCA proceeded to sign me up for two two-hour drug and alcohol education classes the week before Christmas.

Although my peers looked bored and seemed to be completely ignoring the instructor, I thought the class was interesting. Obviously, it was not exactly how I wished to be spending my time or money on, but I was stuck there and figured that I might as well learn something. Three members of alcoholics-anonymous came in to tell their heartbreaking stories of hitting rock bottom and their return to reality. These stories could not be easily compared to our lives, considering we are just a bunch of high school students, but they helped me realize what the consequences could be if I continued to make bad decisions.

On the second day of class, our parents had to accompany us. This was the part I had been dreading most. I feared my mother hearing all the information, taking it out of proportion and putting me on another lock-down. However, in retrospect, I am glad my mom came. The instructor did not say it was okay for minors to drink, but he recognized that teenagers do make mistakes, and parents should work with their children, not against them, to learn from the experience.

Evaluating the entire experience, it was not as bad as it could have been. By going to SASCA and awareness classes, my juvenile record is clear and I continue to participate on my athletic team every day. Unlike some of my peers, who will go out and repeat their mistakes this weekend, I feel I have gained experience and knowledge and will be able to make better decisions in the future. I know I – and the rest of “citation nation” – will continue to make the occasional poor decision, but it is what teenagers do. At least I know that after this experience, I will not make the same mistake again.

*Editor’s note – The writer of this article wishes to remain anonymous.