Underage drinking is a social problem that needs to be approached in an unbiased way, with a level-head, so that the ideal solutions are found to satisfy both the teens and students’ desire for fun and the parents and teachers desire to shield them from the consequences. Repeatedly telling the college students and teenagers with their ears in reach that drinking is bad for them just amounts to ineffective nagging, often leading to the opposite effect of what is intended to achieve. Instead, we’ve put together this list of useful links and resources so that all the parties involved can read up on the most relevant information on the topic. We believe in the sheer persuasive power of unbiased facts and reason, and this is precisely what this resource page will aim to achieve.
1. Relevant Statistics on Student and Teen Alcohol Consumption
Usually, there’re aren’t that many statistics and useful data focusing solely on drunk driving for this age group (demographic), but rather information generally related to the effects of their alcohol consumption. Drunk driving is but one of the direct consequences of this potentially destructive behavior, but not the only one: usually, alcohol consumption leads to an entire array of intertwined effects, as you will see if you explore the links below.
1.1. Alcohol Drinking Statistics for College Students:
This collection of data and statistical analysis comes from Static Brain, a small research institute with a team of like-minded individuals passionate about their mathematical facts and statistics. The thing truly remarkable about Static Brain, though, is the fact that they strive to make all of their statistics as unbiased as possible, making them a great resource for mediating between parents or teachers and students or youths. A quick round-up of conclusions from their reports shows the following:
- College graduates and students tend to drink more than people with only a high school degree, indicating that the peer pressure and overall atmosphere in college campuses is the main culprit for forming drinking habits that extend well after graduation.
- 44% of all college students in America tend to binge drink, thus engaging in one of the most dangerous drinking habits possible.
- 23% of all college students have reported driving after consuming 5 alcohol drinks or more, which is needless to say a threat to their lives and the lives of others.
- Students who binge drink are 21% more likely to miss classes throughout the school program.
1.2 Government Data on Underage Drinking
This governmental report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is a useful collection of historical data on how our country regarded underage drinking throughout its times, and including what the current stand on it is. The link also covers what happened in the 60s and 70s when states reduced the legal drinking age from 21 to 18 (and how that led to a huge rise in the number of traffic accidents with fatal consequences), and why this age was raised back up to 21 in the 80s. Other tidbits of official statistics presented in this report include the following facts:
- Each year, around 5,000 people under the age of 21 die from causes related to underage drinking.
- In 2008, there were about 10.1 million underage drinkers in the country (and 39% of kids currently enrolled in the 8th grade have tried alcohol already).
- Alcohol consumption among young people doesn’t lead only to driving-related risks, but also to the risk of physical and sexual assault. About 50,000 students under the age of 21 will be confronted with alcohol-related date rape, while another 43,000 will contract an injury while being attacked by another student which has been drinking.
1.3. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
This governmental research facility offers up a well-developed web page rich in information; from statistics about alcohol consumption and its effects to contact information for support and treatment options (government-funded support lines, centers and resources). If you’ve ever felt like the country isn’t really doing enough to raise awareness and help with youth drinking and drunk driving, then you probably just didn’t know where to look: this is the resource you’ve actually been waiting for.
2. Legal Information on the Consequences of Drunk Driving and Advice Resources
This is a collection of resources good for either becoming better informed of how drunk driving better impacts you from a legal standpoint, or for getting the help needed to keep your alcohol intake under control.
2.1. DUI Information Center
This collection of DUI information offers you virtual support whenever you or someone you know get confronted with a DUI charge. Of course, ideally, it should never come to this, but perhaps doing your homework on the matter and knowing what you risk (especially in the case of a subsequent DUI charge) can work as a powerful motivation to stop drinking and driving. No one wants to have their license removed permanently, or worse, to end up serving some jail time as well, so no matter how irresponsible college students may seem on occasion, a good knowledge of the law can prove to be quite a wake-up call. This page contains both legal advice and a collection of individual links for the precise DUI laws of each state.
2.2. Sober College
The team behind Sober College has put together a comprehensive resource website where anyone can get informed on how the drinking of college students can impact the various aspects of their lives (including their relationships), and how they can work on lowering their alcohol consumption or on keeping it moderate. As militant-like as their name may sound, the site’s views are really balanced and moderate, focusing on finding solutions rather than pointing fingers.
2.3. Teen Drinking and Driving Prevention Resource (from the CDC)
This rich webpage from the U.S. Government’s Center of Disease Control focuses on presenting a few statistics about the incidence of teenage drinking and driving and its consequences, followed by a wealth of info about how anyone can help further decrease this problem. This offers an easy to relate and realistic way for everyone to get involved a little bit – from other teens (peers) to the parents or teachers in contact with the teens at risk.