Consequences of Underage Drinking
The Parents Who Host Lose the Most Campaign is underway again. In the state of New York approximately 912,000 underage youth drink each year. One of the most effective deterrents to drug use is parents. The Parents Who Host Lose the Most Campaign reminds parents of the legality involved when hosting a party where alcohol is involved and how important it is for them to continue to encourage their teenagers to be alcohol and drug free especially through this time of increased celebration with graduation right around the corner.
Consequences of Underage Drinking
According to The Surgeon General’s Call to Action To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking about 5,000 people die from alcohol-related injuries, under the age of 21, annually.
Of those 5,000 deaths…
- 38% involve motor vehicle crashes,
- 32% result from homicides, and
- 6% result from suicides.
There is an increased risk for unplanned pregnancies, contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), and being physically or sexually assaulted. Underage drinking can also be associated with academic failure, illicit drug use, and tobacco use.
Harm Associated with Underage Drinking in New York
According to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE)…
- During 2007, an estimated 61 traffic fatalities and 2,500 nonfatal traffic injuries involved an underage drinking driver.
- In 2006, an estimated 99 homicides; 48,900 nonfatal violent crimes such as rape, robbery and assault; and 76,900 property crimes including burglary, larceny, and car theft involved an underage drinking perpetrator.
- In 2006, an estimated 15 alcohol involved fatal burns, drowning, and suicides involved underage drinking.
- In 2006, an estimated 6,400 teen pregnancies and 29,300 risky sexual acts by teens involved alcohol.
Cost of Underage Drinking
According to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) in 2007 $3.5 billion was spent on underage drinking.
These costs include…
Medical Cost $446 Million
Work Lost Costs $729 Million
Pain and Suffering Costs $2.3 Billion
The cost of underage drinking by problem…
Youth Violence $2,269.3 Million
Youth Traffic Crashes $405.9 Million
High-Risk Sex, Ages 14-20 $248.5 Million
Youth Property Crime $128.2 Million
Youth Injury $119.7 Million
Poisonings and Psychoses $34.3 Million
FAS Among Mothers Age 15-20 61.8 Million
Youth Alcohol Treatment $230.2 Million
Total Cost $3,497.9 Million
Remember if you’re hosting a party for your teen:
- It is against the law for parents to supply alcohol to their teen’s friends under any circumstances, even in their own home.
- You can be prosecuted if you knowingly allow a person under the age of 21 to remain on your property or in your home while they consume any alcoholic beverages.
- You can be sued if anyone under the age of 21 hurts themselves, someone else, or damages property under the influence of alcohol provided to them by you.
- You can face a fine of a $1,000 and/or a maximum sentence of a year in jail.
Suggestions for Parents:
If You’re Having a Party
- Work together with your teenager to plan the party. Make a guest list with a limited number of people.
- Send invitations and avoid an “open party” situation.
- Set rules ahead of time. No alcohol, drugs, or tobacco. If a teen breaks the rules, their parents need to be called immediately.
- Set a start and end time for the party.
- Have non-alcoholic drinks and food available.
- With help from your teen, have activities planned in advance.
- Limit the party to a certain area. i.e. backyard, living room, garage, etc.
- Make sure there is someone to supervise at all times while remaining sensitive to your teen’s privacy and need for independence. This is something that can be discussed with your teen in advance.
If Your Teen’s Attending a Party
- Know the location of the party and ask them to contact you if they decide to leave and go somewhere else.
- Discuss your expectation with your teen before the party.
- Ask your teen how they will handle a situation should they be put in an uncomfortable situation where they are pressured to drink or get in a car with a drunk driver?
- Set a curfew and have your teen check in with you when they get home.
- Encourage your child to call you whenever needed no matter what the circumstances are.
Underage drinking has been on the decline in recent years but is still a significant problem. It is illegal and dangerous for a parent to host an alcoholic party for their teenager’s friends.
TO REPORT UNDERAGE ALCOHOL SALES AND CONSUMPTION CALL YOUR LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT OR 1-866-UNDER21 (1-866-863-3721).