Underage Drinking Statistics
A Serious Problem Facing Teenagers Today
Underage drinking is a national concern that's leading to more injuries and deaths than people realize. In fact, nearly 11 million underage people consume alcohol in the United States alone.
These decisions can lead to extremely tragic and devastating consequences. Our law firm has seen first hand the pain that underage drinking causes victims and their families.
National Underage Drinking Statistics
Note: These are the most recent U.S. statistics available. We will publish more as they become available.
- 4,300 deaths annually are caused by underage drinking.
- People aged 12 to 20 years old drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in U.S.
- More than 90% of alcohol consumed is considered as binge drinking.
- In 2010, there were 189,000 emergency room visits for injuries related to underage drinking.
- 1 in 6 teens binge drink (excessively consuming alcohol in a short time period).
- Only 1 in 100 parents believe his or her child binge drinks.
- Youth drinking is correlated to adult drinking – children of parents who binge drink are 2x as likely to binge drink.
- 70% of young people have engaged in heavy drinking by ages 19 or 20.
- Nearly 75% of 12th grade students, more than 66% of 10th grade students, and about 40% of 8th grade students have consumed alcohol in their lifetimes.
- From ages 13 to 21, the percentage of people who report binge drinking increases from 1% to 50%.
- Male drivers are roughly twice as likely as female drivers to have BACs of .08 or higher.
- Unrestrained drivers 16 to 20 are over 3x as likely to be alcohol impaired than drivers of that age range who use seatbelts.
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted in 2013, discovered that among high school students in the past 30 days:
- 35% drank alcohol
- 21% participated in binge drinking
- 10% drove after drinking
- 22% rode with an intoxicated driver
These numbers are startling, especially when you consider that teen car accidents are the number one cause of death for teens in the United States.
2012 Underage Drinking Statistics
- When asked how easy it would be to get alcohol, most 8th, 10th, and 12th graders said "fairly easy" or "very easy."
- 11% of 8th graders reported drinking during the past 30 days, 3.6% to intoxication.
- 28% of 10th graders reported drinking during the past 30 days, 14.5% to intoxication.
- 42% of 12th graders reported drinking during the past 30 days, 28.1% to intoxication.
How do teenagers obtain alcohol?
Among underage drinkers, 40% usually obtained alcohol by someone giving it to them. Of those:
- 35% received it from an unrelated person over the age of 21.
- 53% received it from family and friends.
Do male or female teenagers drink the most?
Males have higher underage drinking rates than females:
- Current drinkers: 25.6% of males, 24.6% of females
- Binge drinkers: 17.5% of males, 14% of females
- Heavy drinkers: 5.6% of males, 3.2% of females
For past statistics, visit our Past Underage Drinking statistics page.
It’s a Matter of Life and Death – Don't Drink and Drive
Underage drinking affects millions of families every year. That's why it's important to discuss the dangers of teen drinking, peer pressure, and driving or riding with an intoxicated person.
If a drunk driver ever injures you or a loved one, contact our law firm for a free case review. We'll answer your legal questions and get you the help you need. Remember, it's free to call and there's never an obligation to hire our law firm once you call.
"Survey: Underage drinkers get alcohol free from adults." CNN.com. June 26, 2008.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
MADD Statistics. www.madd.org/statistics
Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking. https://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/statistics.aspx