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5 reasons teenagers drink alcohol underage

On Behalf of | May 12, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

If you’re the parent of a juvenile who’s currently having legal problems, you might be feeling overwhelmed and in need of outside support. In particular, if police took your son or daughter into police custody for suspected drunk driving, the legal road ahead may be long and arduous. In order to provide moral support and assistance to your child, it’s helpful to understand why so many teenagers nowadays consume alcohol before they have reached the legal age in South Dakota, which is 21.

In this state, a person between the ages of 18 and 20 may legally purchase alcohol if their parent or legal guardian is present at the time. However, the merchant may still decide to refuse service to anyone under age 21. If your son or daughter is facing accusations of operating a motor vehicle after drinking underage, you may want to learn more about the types of issues that often prompt teens to drink.

Adolescents often enjoy taking risks

Not only do studies show that adolescence spurs changes in the brain beyond age 20, they also suggest that people who are going through adolescence often enjoy risky situations or find pleasure in doing dangerous things. Seeking a thrill or taking a risk may be one of the most common reasons many teenagers consume alcohol before they reach their 21st birthday.

The following list includes four more issues scientists often cite when asked why teenagers drink alcohol when they know they are not of legal age to do so.

  • Teens who have demonstrated disruptive or problem behaviors in the past are more likely to participate in underage drinking than peers who have not had conduct trouble during adolescence.
  • Teens who have at least one parent with an alcohol addiction are at greater risk for underage drinking than kids with no alcohol abuse in the home.
  • Parents who have favorable views of drinking alcohol and often have it available in the home are more likely to have teens who consume alcohol underage.
  • Peer pressure also plays a key role when teens are deciding whether or not to participate in underage drinking.

If your son or daughter has reached the age of reason, no one else is to blame for his or her decisions and choices regarding underage drinking. However, it’s helpful to understand what scientific studies have shown with regard to issues that often prompt teens to drink before they’re of legal age to consume alcohol.

Providing support to a teen who is navigating the juvenile justice system

You might feel disappointed or sad that your child has been pulled over in traffic, arrested by South Dakota police and charged with DUI and drinking underage. Such situations not only affect the teenager in question but the entire family. It’s only natural that you’d want to help your son or daughter navigate the legal system.

It’s helpful to connect with someone who is well-versed in state DUI laws and has specific experience in juvenile court. Forging this type of alliance early on helps alleviate stress and can increase your child’s chances of obtaining the most positive outcome possible in court.