Open and honest: County campaign encourages frank discussions about alcohol


File photo. File photo.

Albemarle County Project Director Alex London-Gross is leading a county-wide campaign to reduce drinking and driving, and is encouraging parents to talk to their kids.

“Talk to them about everything: what’s going on, who their friends are, what they’re doing after school,” she said. “One of the best preventative factors is knowing you can have open conversation with your children, so when they reach high school, you know you can talk to them about drinking.”

Albemarle County has one of the highest rates of alcohol-related car crashes in Virginia, London-Gross said, and it’s something parents and their kids need to be more aware of.

The campaign will include advertisements targeting 15- to 24-year-olds, and a free event open to the public on April 15 with speakers and breakout groups aimed at high school students and their parents. The event is right before prom, and London-Gross said she hopes high school students will take the information to heart and make safe decisions about drinking.

“I can’t tell you not to drink, but if you’re going to, we can teach you how to do it safely,” she said.