Have you ever wondered why your teenager is suddenly taking his or her school backpack out at the weekend?
That’s the question West Lothian police are asking parents ahead of the school holidays, which spell weeks of daytime liberty some youngsters use for al fresco drinking sessions.
In a Facebook appeal police ask: “Do you really think they are going to study at their friends?
“Ask them the question - we know that’s where lots of youths hide their drink.
“Your local police do not want young people coming to harm and where young people under 18 are suspected of having alcohol they can be stopped and the alcohol seized.”
Police have also remindede parents that just because lots of people may be drinking at events like summer galas doesn’t mean the law against serving drink to under-18’s has been relaxed.
The police spokesperson said: “Your local Police officers want them to enjoy their day just like you do however consumption of alcohol can spoil it for many.
“West Lothian Council byelaws are still in operation and anyone found consuming alcohol in a public place can be charged.
“If a young person under 18 is found consuming alcohol parents can be informed.
“Just because it is the Gala Day doesn’t make alcohol less potent or suddenly legal for those under 18.
“Parents - be intrusive, keep your teenagers safe, ask the questions, where are you going, who are you with and keep in contact by phone during the evening and finally make arrangements to pick them up.
“We don’t want statistics, just young people having fun.”
However some parents responding to the message point out the difficulty of carrying out searches of teenagers’ personal possessions.
One said that any who do intend to carry booze are crafty enough to hide it close to the house for collection later.
Another FB responder suggests drink problems arise because there aren’t enough local activities to keep young aults interested ...and suggests the reintroduction of National Service would be a good thing.