County of Marin - News Releases - Teens and Alcohol

For Immediate Release
October 15, 2014

Education Program Targets Teen Binge Drinking

Marin’s silent epidemic to be addressed October 22 at Tamalpais High School

San Rafael, CA - The well-documented binge-drinking epidemic in Marin County has long-lasting consequences on teens. More than 90 percent of the alcohol consumed by the teenagers is consumed in the form of binge drinking. It can be a rude awakening when young people realize how often trouble with the law goes hand in hand with underage drinking.

A free program to educate teens and parents on this silent epidemic and how quickly lives can be changed is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. October 22 in the Ruby Scott Gym at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley. The Marin County Bar Association’s Public Outreach Committee is presenting the program “Parents, Teens, and the Law: Smarter Teens/Smarter Choices” in conjunction with the Marin County Office of Education, the Marin County District Attorney’s Office, the Marin County Public Defender’s Office and the Marin County Counsel’s Office.

The alcohol statistics for Marin are revealing, and not just for those under age 21. For the fifth year in a row, Marin residents ranked poorly in the County Health Rankings for excessive alcohol use. Almost one in four (22 percent) of Marin adults recently surveyed reported binge drinking in the past 30 days, one of the highest rates in the state. In addition, Marin had a higher rate of overdose deaths than most California counties according to the 2014 rankings.

“Teens don't want yet another lecture, and parents are often unaware of the depths of their children's substance use and abuse,” said Dorothy Chou Proudfoot, a Marin County Deputy District Attorney who leads the Marin Bar’s Public Outreach Program. “I have seen far too many poor choices made while under the influence of alcohol and drugs that have destroyed lives. We want to educate parents and teens in a different and novel way.”

The Parents, Teens and the Law program incorporates a dramatization with students portraying what can happen under the influence of drugs and alcohol and a mock sentencing hearing that illustrates the legal consequences that can follow. The cast includes an actual Marin County Superior Court judge, a prosecutor, a defense attorney and a medical expert. A Q&A discussion rounds out the program.

All students attending are eligible to receive credit for two community service hours and credit for two additional hours if a parent also attends.

The October 22 program is expected to run from 5:30-8 p.m. RSVP is not required but appreciated at


Dorothy Chou Proudfoot
Deputy District Attorney
County of Marin

Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 130
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6450


Email: Dorothy Chou Proudfoot