Why do teenagers drink alcohol?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | Juvenile Criminal Defense |

As the parent of a teenager, one of your main concerns may be that they will drink alcohol while they are underage. You could be worried that they’ll be arrested on minor in possession charges or while trying to make an illegal purchase. You may also be concerned about things like drunk driving, worrying that teens who are trying to hide their drinking habits would not call for a ride home.

And it is true that many teenagers experiment with alcohol. Why is this, when they know that it is illegal because no one under 21 is supposed to purchase or consume alcohol on their own? Below are three reasons.

A form of self-medication

In some cases, teenagers will use alcohol as self-medication, perhaps for stress in their personal life. Some of them also use it as a social lubricant, like when a young person goes to college for the first time.

They want to feel older

Young people often want to rush and grow up as quickly as they can. They may see their parents drinking at home, and they certainly see it on television and in movies. They just become curious and decide to try it, even though it’s illegal.

They’ve been peer pressured

Often, teenagers drink due to peer pressure. This could happen in college, for example. Maybe your 18-year-old never drank at home, but if their roommates are drinking in the college dorm and offer them a beer, are they going to take it? Many teens will because they want to fit in, even if they know that the decision they’re making is risky.

If your teenager does end up facing serious criminal charges, then it’s time for your family to begin looking into the appropriate criminal defense options.


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