The consequences of underage drinking

The consequences of underage drinking 

Municipal Alliance Committee of the Chathams

As high school graduation and other celebratory events approach us, please take the time to speak to your teen(s) about the consequences of underage drinking.

Underage drinking can have serious consequences for teens and young adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 6 youth under 21 die every day from non-driving alcohol-related causes (such as drowning and suicide). Studies have shown that alcohol consumption by adolescents results in brain damage (possibly permanent) and impairs intellectual development. When drinking is delayed until age 21, a child’s risk of serious alcohol problems decreases by 70%.

Underage drinking is against the law, and it is also against the law for adults to serve or provide alcohol to minors. Parents who host parties and permit underage drinking may face serious consequences as a result. Adults who provide alcohol to minors can be held legally responsible for anything that happens when the minors drink and can face legal consequences. The penalties for giving alcohol to minors or allowing alcohol to be consumed on your property can include fines and is a Criminal Disorderly Persons Offense. A civil claim could also hold you financially responsible for injuries sustained by a third party as a result of the actions of a minor, who has been illegally served or had alcohol.

“Parents Who Host, Lose the Most” is a public health awareness campaign that encourages parents and the community to send a unified message that teen alcohol consumption is unacceptable.

What YOU can do:

  • Always be home when your child has a party or friends over.
  • Let your child know that drinking alcohol is not ok and how alcohol can and will affect them.
  • Check and make sure that alcohol is not brought into your home by other teens or young adults.
  • Know your kids’ friends and communicate with other parents.

The Municipal Alliance Committee of the Chathams (MACC) promotes prevention as a means to reduce substance use disorders and build a healthier community. MACC commits to helping residents of the Chathams, of all ages, thrive by providing evidence-based prevention programs, community building programs, advocacy and support resources aimed at addressing factors that contribute to substance use disorders.