Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is urging parents to talk to their teens about underage drinking this October through its Power of You(th) program.

The program encourages young people to avoid drinking alcohol until the age of 21 and to never ride with a driver who has been drinking.

If teens understand the risks involved, they will make better decisions when situations involving alcohol arise, the organisation claims.

The Power of You(th) program teen booklet includes case studies, facts and statistics, looks at how alcohol impacts the body, the legal and social issues of losing a license and discusses how to avoid peer pressure.

MADD encourages teens to share the booklet among friends and make a pact to never ride with a drinking driver.

“Teens may already know the legal drinking age is 21 and they may know that drinking alcohol makes people behave in ways they normally wouldn’t,” said MADD. “But do they understand the other risks?”

“Telling teens they’re too young to drink is one thing, but explaining why they shouldn’t will have a greater impact on them. Sharing factual information is a good place to start.”