You Must Be Over 21 to Drink in This Living Room

A crackdown on house parties stirs up a debate about privacy

Officials in Stratford, Conn., convened a group of middle and high school students last year to quiz them on their attitudes toward alcohol. The officials were dismayed, if not surprised, when the teens reported that they thought alcohol, unlike tobacco and other drugs, was largely harmless, that binge drinking among their peers was habitual, and that drinking enough to pass out was funny. But the officials were perhaps most displeased to hear that the place kids most often got drunk was their own or their friends' homes and that some parents either provided alcohol or looked the other way if teens brought...

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