OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A recent study showed students in Ogden are above the state average when it comes to underage drinking. Thursday night a town hall meeting was held at Bonneville High School to talk with teens and their parents about the dangers of alcohol.
16-year-old Braxton Anderson was an A student who was about to graduate high school with his associate’s degree. He was a good kid who made a bad choice and it cost him his life. Braxton’s mother Bobbi Anderson told ABC Utah, “He passed away from alcohol poisoning due to hypothermia.” On February 5th 2011 Braxton and three of his friends got some alcohol from one of his friend’s older sisters. For some reason they ventured out to a field. Two of his friends made it home; Braxton passed out by a set of railroad tracks. “Braxton’s blood alcohol was .22,” said Anderson. The boy found next to him was .30; all more than triple the limit.”
The other boy survived. Bobbi found her son’s body the following morning. “He was always a good kid always home on time just made a poor choice that night,” said Anderson.And that’s why she’s sharing her story with the youth of Ogden and their parents.
A recent study of Ogden students shows that they’re above the state’s average when it comes to underage drinking. Marci Edwards with the South Ogden Police Department told ABC 4 Utah, “The 12th graders that were part of the survey they say over the past month 25% of them had drank alcohol.” The state average is about 14%. The study also revealed the number one reason why kids chose not to drink – they don’t want to disappoint their parents.
“They can make the most difference,” explained Edwards. “They’re the number one reason why children chose not to drink or use drugs.” But some parents don’t talk to their kids – or set rules and expectations until it’s too late. Research shows some students had their first drink by the sixth grade. “All the surveys and the science show that we’re talking to our kids two years too late,” said Edwards.
Bobbi says she had the talk with her son, but that peer pressure must have got the best of him. She wants parents to know that even good kids can make bad choices. “It’s one time,” said Anderson. “One time it could happen and he never comes home again.”