Are your teen-agers aware that the blood alcohol level for teens apprehended for DUI in Georgia is .02 percent, as opposed to a higher permissible level of .08 percent for adults?
Are they aware of the long-term consequences of their inappropriate participation within social networking sites, and the potentially adverse impact of such participation upon their future educational and work opportunities? Have they ever considered the severe legal penalties for sexual activity with under-age partners?
Have they witnessed the physical deterioration of the faces of methamphetamine users and seen the resulting gross rotting of their teeth? Likewise, have they ever considered, and seen, evidence of the potentially drastic effects of texting while driving, or appreciated the consequences of "sexting"?
Are they familiar with the substances commonly utilized in "date rape" (often acquired by surreptitious "doping" after asking a friend to hold their drink when they go to the lavatory) and understood the further profound consequences of sexually acquired diseases?
Have they ever seen up close the profound human and material consequences of inattentive driving habits, often aggravated by the failure to wear seat belts?
Complemented by an abundance of graphic demonstrations and detailed discussion, these subjects, and many more, were presented during a narrative seminar conducted by Superior Court Judge Wade Padgett, with more than 200 teens attending, on Sept. 28 at Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Grovetown.
Included in the 2 1/2-hour marathon session was a question and answer period, within which all adults were excluded. (A similar presentation for adults had been conducted by Judge Padgett the previous week.)
These well-presented seminars, which Judge Padgett has been conducting for several years, are an absolute "must attend" for teens and their parents. The citizens within the Richmond/Columbia/Burke county judicial district are most fortunate that Judge Padgett has developed and made available to them, and their teen-agers, such a community resource, without any cost to those attending.
Many subjects that parents may be loath to discuss with their children are aired in a mature and sensitive fashion. Parents and their teens would be well advised to seek out and attend these worthwhile seminars, which can productively help bridge the gap between childhood and the realities and responsibilities of adulthood.
Arthur M. Smith, M.D.