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  • Writer's pictureNorwalk Partnership

Safe & sober for the 4th

Celebrate Safely this Fourth of July!

With the Fourth of July coming up, people will be celebrating--and for the first time in CT, adults will be legally allowed to use not only alcohol but also marijuana. It’s an important time for adults to model responsible drinking and to be aware of the laws and risks of underage drinking and drug use.

Although CT just legalized possession of marijuana for adults over age 21, it is illegal for minors to have or use marijuana, because it is very dangerous for the developing teen brain.

  • Today’s marijuana is far more powerful than the natural plant, especially when vaped. Teens who use the new marijuana are at risk of IQ loss, addiction, and psychosis.

  • It is illegal for adults to sell or provide marijuana to minors under age 21. Adults will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

Marijuana can only be used in certain places.

  • Marijuana, hemp, and vapes cannot be consumed anywhere that smoking was already illegal, including restaurants, healthcare institutions, and state or municipal buildings.

  • Marijuana and cigarettes cannot be consumed in any area (inside or out) of a school, retail establishment, higher ed dorm, or building that is owned, operated or leased by the state or municipality.

  • Marijuana cannot be used in state parks or waterways.

Driving while impaired by alcohol or marijuana is deadly.

  • Impaired driving happens when someone operates a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, illicit drugs, some prescribed or over-the-counter medicines, or alcohol. See CDC fact sheet for CT here.

  • Focus groups with Norwalk teens have shown that some think they drive better while under the influence of marijuana. That is false! Marijuana affects reflexes, concentration, judgment, reasoning--all of which are critical skills for safe driving.

Adults are held liable if minors under the age of 21 consume alcohol on property they control.

  • Connecticut’s "Social Host" law makes property owners or tenants fully responsible for any underage drinking on property they control--even if they are unaware of the drinking.

  • Hosting underage drinking can result in a $2000 fine, court ordered evaluations, jail time, probation, or even criminal charges.

Safer drinking habits to model:

  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with water. Water combats dehydration and keeps you from drinking more alcohol in the meantime.

  • Pace yourself! Binge drinking is dangerous and can lead to alcohol poisoning. Binge drinking is defined as men having 5+ drinks or women having 4+ drinks within 2 hours.

  • Find alternatives to impaired driving. Use Wheels 2 U, order an Uber or Lyft, or have a designated driver for the night.

  • Lock Your Liquor! The Norwalk Partnership has made Liquor Stickers available at participating liquor retailers in Norwalk. Tape them across the top of any unfinished bottle to ensure your kids aren’t getting into your stash.

Sober activities that are family friendly:

  • Get great ideas here

The Fourth of July is a time to be with family and friends and enjoy the summer. Please model safe and sober behavior for your children, make sure they aren’t accessing liquor or drugs, and drive responsibly. We hope you have a safe, sober, and fun holiday weekend!

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