Underage Drinking in New Jersey: The Scary Truth

Underage drinking is something people often overlook, frequently being viewed as a “rite of passage” or something “all kids do”. People generally think that it will happen regardless of laws, or techniques, which results in parents allowing their children to drink in their own home. Having this mindset leads to underage children not thinking about the repercussions or seeing the hazards of underage drinking. This mindset not only diminishes the perception of risk, but it increases the danger.

Of all alcohol related fatal car accidents, 22.2% were caused by underage drunk drivers, in New Jersey. Of all under 21 driving fatalities, 12.2% were due to alcohol. Due to the relaxed view of underage drinking, children are not thinking about the consequences of driving after. Of all underage persons (age 12-20), 13.1% reported binge drinking in the past 30 days. Binge drinking is finishing 4 drinks in one sitting for females, and 5 drinks in one sitting for males in more than 5 days per month. These percentages seem to really correlate and ultimately, it goes back to parents allowing their children to drink or not stressing the dangers of underage drinking.

There are also a lot of other hazards, besides drinking, with underage drinking. Though underage people do not drink as frequently as adults do, when they do drink, they tend to binge drink. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 90% of alcohol consumed by underage people, is through binge drinking. With binge drinking comes poor decision making, which is likely why people do get in their cars. It also increases the risk of needing additional medical treatment. It has been found that underage drinking costs 1.6billion dollars yearly.

It is not a rite of passage, underage drinking is a hazard and it is up to parents to educate.