Help SADD Prevent Underage Drinking
Underage drinking is when anyone under the minimum legal drinking age of 21 drinks alcohol and remains a risk that attracts many developing adolescents and teens. When young people try alcohol, they often don’t realize the damaging effects that drinking can have on their own lives, their families, and their communities. Underage drinking is a widespread public health problem that poses many risks.
Of course, another very serious reason not to drink is that possession and purchase of alcohol by anyone under age 21 is now illegal in every state. States made underage drinking illegal for good reason:
- Alcohol use can lead to a criminal record in several ways. The actions teens take under the influence of alcohol are more likely to lead to criminal conduct.
- A slight altercation can turn into a brawl with physical harm or property damage, a romantic evening can turn into a rape or a charge of rape, and a car crash can cause injury or death.
- Legal consequences can include fines, restitution, victim payments, community service, probation, and incarceration.
- Getting caught buying or possessing alcohol alone can have serious negative lifelong consequences because it is a violation of the law.
- An arrest, prosecution, or conviction for attempted purchase or possession of alcohol will be expensive and embarrassing, will disappoint family and friends, perhaps permanently altering their opinion of a young person’s character, will send a dangerous message to younger children, and may lead to suspension or expulsion from a job, a team, or a school.
- In many cases, alcohol has ruined a young person’s plans and dreams for life.
What We Are Doing About It: SADD chapters have access to an array of underage drinking prevention programs that include activities that engage and educate the school, the community and parents. Some SADD students serve in an advisory capacity with other national groups working to reduce the instances of underage drinking.