When parents are asked if their teenage child drinks alcohol, most of them quickly say that they certainly do not. They may cite the legal side of things, noting that it is illegal, or they may talk about personal or religious reasons for refraining from drinking. But the common denominator is that these parents all think their teens do not drink.
The odds are high that most of those parents are wrong.
After all, studies have found that roughly a third of teens have had alcohol by age 15. They’re still six years away from the legal drinking age and may only be in early high school, but they’re already drinking with their friends. How much they drink, and how often, differs from one teen to the next.
What is clear is that they keep doing it and that it gets even more common. By age 18, when they are still three years away from drinking legally, the percentage who have had alcohol climbs to 58%. That’s almost two-thirds of all teens.
How do parents feel about this? As noted, many do not think that it happens. Others would be surprised and angry if they found out. Some, naturally, do know what is going on. Some may even point to lower drinking ages — such as 18 in Australia — and suggest that it’s not that big of an issue. But, regardless of their stance, the statistics show that this is one of the most common illegal activities in the United States.
Is your teen facing charges that related to underage drinking? You need to know what legal steps you can take to protect them and secure their future.