The dangers of underage drinking can surface in unexpected ways. Take for instance the death of Santa Paula youth Samuel Travis Reeves. Reeves would have been 21 years old this year, ironically, the legal drinking age, had he not been killed at an “out of control” party back in 2003. Ventura County detectives recently closed this “cold case” after DNA evidence helped them convict a gang member, now 29, for the killing. See Ventura County Star article
According to Reeves’ father, Sam Reeves, when he gave Samuel permission to go to a friend’s birthday party, he had no idea that hundreds of people would be showing up. He also had no idea that there would be alcohol present. Lots of alcohol. According to reports, there were kegs of beer and a bathtub full of “Jungle Juice.”
For the uninitiated, “Jungle Juice” is a very potent concoction of alcohol and fruit juice mixed in large proportions. In fact, a simple online search of “Jungle Juice” brought up this recipe. Here are the ingredients:
Neutral grain spirit (which can contain up to 95% alcohol)
Peach flavored schnapps
Apple flavored schnapps
Lemon-lime soft drink
Sour apple flavored schnapps
Strawberry flavored wine
Fruit punch drink
Orange juice concentrate
This recipe makes 20 gallons of the alcoholic punch. The 19 year-old’s birthday party that Reeves attended had a bathtub full of Jungle Juice. Nowhere in the reports does it state if Reeves, himself, had been drinking, but it is believed that he tried to break up a fight when he was shot.
Innocent people killed at a party where underage drinking is taking place. A car accident where an innocent passenger dies because the driver has been drinking. Sexual assault. Violence. Unfortunately, these are all too often today’s realities at the parties our teens are either attending or throwing themselves.
Talk to your kids. Get to know their friends and become familiar with their culture.