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How common is underage drinking?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2024 | Misdemeanors |

Underage drinking in the United States means that people are drinking under 21 years old. The legal drinking age has been moved a few times over the decades, but it is currently at 21 and shows no signs of going down. This means that teenagers and other young people are never allowed to drink or purchase alcohol.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they don’t do it. In fact, some sources note that there is no substance young people use more than alcohol. Roughly 3.4% of the alcohol that Americans consume every year goes to those between 12 and 20 years old. They obtain it in a variety of ways, such as stealing it from parents or having an older friend purchase it for them.

It can even be a use disorder

Some young people are certainly just experimenting with alcohol. They may just have a single drink at a party with friends because they’re curious.

But for many teenagers, alcohol use disorders are a real issue. For instance, one study claimed that 10.5% of people who are 12 and older have one of these use disorders. That’s 29.5 million people.

Certainly, many of these people are also over 21. But the statistics on binge drinking help to shed some light on how these disorders develop. In the same year, 2022, roughly 646,000 people from 12 to 20 years old claimed they had engaged in binge drinking in the last month. They said they had done so five or more times in that month. This type of drinking could be due to an existing use disorder.

Criminal defense options

Young people who are facing serious criminal charges are naturally worried about what it means for their future. It’s important for them to know about all their criminal defense options.