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Underage drinking: “it hasn’t really changed over the years”

For some readers, it was just a few years ago that they either took part in high school drinking or heard of the parties while they were in school. For other readers, the memories have dimmed over the many years since last got together with young friends to have beer or other alcoholic beverages.

“It’s the same,” a Colorado police officer said recently of teen drinking. It really hasn't changed over the years. Kids bring it to school or drink at parties for a variety of reasons." 

As every parent knows, the worry isn’t just that still-developing kids are experimenting with alcohol. It’s that once the kids leave the parties, they get behind the wheel of a car or they get into a vehicle driven by a friend who has been drinking. Not only are accidents possible, but also life-changing arrests on underage DUI charges.

Teenagers experiment with alcohol for a variety of reasons, including the fact that alcohol is legally forbidden to them; because of peer pressure; and because doing it is a way of establishing credibility and a reputation. And let’s face it: because adults can drink alcohol, teens want to do it, too. They believe it makes them look more mature (a reason often cited as well for experimentation with cigarette smoking).  

It’s generally not difficult for teens to obtain alcohol. Some take it from their parents, while others shoplift it from a store. Still others go to liquor stores and ask customers on their way in to purchase alcohol for them.

When the police lights go on behind a car driven by a teen who might be impaired, the child is likely face their first encounter with an intimidating criminal justice system. For many parents, it’s their first foray into the system as well, which is why so many rely on an experienced attorney to help them protect their child’s rights.

Source:, "Teen drinking a timeless problem," Debbie Kelley and Andrea Sinclair, Sept. 15, 2014

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