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Locking Out the Mystique of the Liquor Cabinet

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Locking Out the Mystique of the Liquor Cabinet

While one wants to promote a culture of trust and independent decision making in one’s home, an open, unlocked liquor cabinet poses certain challenges.  While your own teenager might not be inclined to take liquor from your cabinet, his friends very well might be.  You do not want your home to become known as the house with the abundant, unlocked liquor cabinet.

While preventing teen drinking requires a lot more than a locked liquor cabinet, the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind,” does apply.  Closed, locked and out-of-the-way will give you the baseline security (and legal defense) that you at least attempted to control and restrict access. Here are a few liquor cabinet options that work with various home aesthetics:

Adding a Lock to an Existing Cabinet

I don’t suggest that you simply chain and padlock your console or buffet.  Such a modification could insult your teen, or incite exactly the kind of curiosity that you aim to prevent.  It’s also not aesthetically pleasing.  If you currently store your liquor in a buffet, the securest option is to install a pin tumbler lock on the cabinet door.  These locks are similar to the lock mechanisms used in U-shaped bicycle locks, and can be installed to fit in fairly seamlessly with your cabinet facing.

Biometric locks, also known as “keyless locks,” are a higher-tech option.  In lieu of a key, they read your fingerprint.  Much like a standard deadbolt, they stick out from the surface of the door. Therefore, a biometric lock would make it quite obvious that you are storing something valuable inside of a cabinet.  Such a technologically-advanced lock on a liquor cabinet could possibly draw attention to your cache, but it does offer keyless convenience.

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7:01PM PST on Nov 8, 2012

Thank you for info.

7:00PM PST on Nov 8, 2012

Thank you for info.

11:06AM PDT on Jun 2, 2011

Dad always let me have a sip whenever he had a drink. Extremely watered down perhaps but it took away the desire to sneak behind his back. He did the same with my girls. Somehow they seemed to be the only ones that realized when the punch was doctored or someone was "playing" around. They could pick up the alcoholic taste. No big drinkers among us. Even socially--there is no big allure. It's like been there done that.

1:19AM PDT on Mar 17, 2011

Well, you know, if we just removed the taboo, it wouldn't be an issue. Bente S. has a great solution, and for non drinkers, there's your perfect answer.

My son gets wine with his holiday meals and other extra special occasion, such as my grandparents' turning 98 last year, weddings, etc. Because he doesn't need to sneak because the special occasions are there to remove the curiosity, it poses much less of a problem for him.

Of course I can't say what will happen with other teenage friends... I have to hope that they're just as able to deal with it as we do...

7:17AM PDT on Mar 14, 2011

thanks for the post.

5:32AM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

Great article, and great reminder to parents. Especially when there are so many horror stories close to home concerning alcohol abuse.

8:07PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Sorry, but if you have a visible lock on the typical liquor cabinet it has lots of thin pretty glass to show off what's in there. Glass breaks. If a parent is that worried the need a far less visible stash or get rid of it all together.

Brian M.'s solution is the one I was raised with and raised my children with. It worked in my case and my children's as well.

They didn't see a lot of drinking or on a regular basis. However Sunday dinner I got and they got very watered wine growing up. No big deal, never was in either house.

3:53PM PST on Mar 12, 2011


1:13PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Very good ideas and suggestions.

7:52AM PST on Mar 12, 2011

The best way to discourage your children from drinking is to let them taste your wine (a nice dry one) when they're small. They'll go "UUUGH!" and won't regain their interest in alcohol until they're at a suitable age to start drinking.

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