Approximately 12.5 million underage teens drink each year. In 2005, according to self-reports by United States students in grades 9-12 74% had at least one drink of alcohol on one or more days during their life » Underage Drinking Statistics
Teen drivers are involved in more than five times as many fatal crashes as adults are. Young drivers are more likely to speed, run red lights, make illegal turns, and die in SUV rollovers. » Underage Drinking Prevention Resources
Never underestimate what a small group of people can do to change the world – in this case MADD, mothers against drunk driving. All it takes it some raging mothers to lose their children to drunk drivers and a powerful organization is born.
Now because of the problem of underage drinking, mothers against drunk drivers are reaching out to middle school, high school, and college students under 21 about the dangers of underage drinking and driving.
The total cost for the consequences of underage drinking was almost $62 billion per year in 2001 dollars. Underage drinking is associated with:
Drinking and driving
Riding with underage drivers who drink
Unplanned and unsafe sex
Dropping out of school
Damage to growing brains
Injuries from drowning, burns, falls, homicides, and suicides
SADD – Students against Destructive Decisions (formerly driving drunk)
Car crashes are the number one cause of death among teens and young adults. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration research shows that, on average, more than 300,000 teens are injured in car crashes each year, nearly 8,000 are involved in fatal crashes, and more than 3,500 are killed.
Teen drivers are involved in more than five times as many fatal crashes as adults are. Young drivers are more likely to speed, run red lights, make illegal turns, and die in SUV rollovers. Underage teens who drink and drive up the ante for more drunk driving accidents, injuries, and fatalities and irreplaceable costs for life and limb for youth and innocent victims.
Students against Destructive Decisions offers numerous programs to at risk and middle class youth and parents for how to be empowered to speak up when they are in the car with friends and don’t feel safe. Campaigns also try to increase awareness about the dangers of reckless driving and to educate teens how to be safe drivers by focusing on safe speeds, avoiding distractions, wearing seat belts, and not being an underage driver.
Instead of targeting high school students with a message, Youth in Action looks at the big picture that condones underage drinking. From the store clerk who doesn't check IDs, to the police officer who might just pour out the beer and send teens home with a stern warning, to the adults who don't mind buying beer for a kid who slips him an extra $10, or for parents who say their kids can drink as long as they drink in front of me – Youth in Action looks for community solutions instead of focusing their attention on their peers.
The Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center (UDETC) was established by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (within the U.S. Department of Justice) to support enforcing underage drinking laws program by reaching out to the states and local communities in their efforts to enforce underage drinking laws, prevent underage drinking, and eliminate the devastating consequences associated with alcohol use by underage youth.
How much money does it cost to help underage drinkers? More than you would think as the costs put a drain on all aspects of society not just obvious expenses. Check out this Alcohol Cost Calculator for Kids, a tool designed to help teachers, parents, lawmakers, and child advocates calculate how much serious alcohol problems are costing their community.
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