As a parent, you know that underage drinking happens. Movies about high school and college tend to glamorize it. However, does it happen as much as these fictionalized accounts imply? To understand it, here are three facts you need to know:
- In every state in the country, the legal drinking age is 21 years old. No one can legally buy or consume alcohol under that age.
- Even so, 11 percent of the alcohol that people drink in the United States gets consumed by people who are from 12 to 20 years old. That figure shows that simply making something illegal does not put an end to it.
- About 90 percent of the drinks consumed by people in that 12-to-20 age bracket are consumed as part of America's binge drinking culture. This is when people drink excessively and with the goal of getting intoxicated. In short, most teens are drinking heavily when they drink illegally, rather than sticking to the recommended one or two drinks a day.
Underage drinking is definitely a problem in the United States, and many parents are unaware that their children are involved in it. Teens work very hard to hide this from their parents. While the movies may exaggerate the drinking culture and turn it into something it is not, the reality is not always as drastically different as you may hope. If your teen is drinking at all, odds are that he or she is binge drinking.
In the event that your child gets arrested and charged with a crime because of their drinking, you need to know what legal steps to take.