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Fewer teenagers may be experimenting with underage drinking

Over the Memorial Day weekend, many people in Philadelphia got together with friends and family for a barbecue, at the beach or one of the many other festivities that come with a three-day weekend. It is not unusual for alcohol to be served at such events. While it is legal for people age 21 or older to drink alcohol, this past weekend some teenagers may have had the opportunity to experiment with underage drinking. However, the number of teens doing so may not be as high as one thinks.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that the number of teenagers who engage in underage drinking has gone down since 1991. In 1991, just over 50 percent of teenagers reported consuming one or more alcoholic beverages a month. By 2015 this number dropped to just under 33 percent.

That being said, some of the teenagers who did report that they consumed one or more alcoholic beverages a month engaged in binge drinking. According to the CDC, of those teens, just under 58 percent had consumed five alcoholic beverages in a row, which constitutes binge drinking. However, even binge drinking by teenagers is on the downswing. In 1999, 31.5 percent of teenagers engaged in binge drinking, compared to 17.7 percent in 2015.

The study took data from teenagers who had filled out a self-administered questionnaire. Between the years studied, the number of teenagers surveyed varied from approximately 10,900 to approximately 16,400. All of the teenagers surveyed were students, meaning that information from teenagers who were no longer students was not examined.

Hearing fewer teenagers are engaging in underage drinking is a good thing, but what is also important to remember is that teenagers' brains haven't fully developed, meaning that they may not understand the consequences of underage drinking. An attorney can help protect the future of teens charged with underage drinking, as such charges could have a long-lasting effect on the teenager's life.

Source:, "CDC: Teen student drinking at 25-year low but binge drinking persists," May 11, 2017

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