Parents are well aware that underage drinking happens in the United States. People are theoretically not supposed to have a drink until they turn 21, but many young people look at that as merely the age when they can go to the bar or buy alcohol on their own. They realistically start drinking well before that.
Why do they do it? Rather than just making a blanket statement that they shouldn’t, this is the real question parents may want to consider. What are the factors that cause teens, who are also well aware that underage drinking is illegal, to go ahead and do it anyway?
The first reason, naturally, is peer pressure. A teen boy drinks because his friend has alcohol and dares him to try it. Or a girl drinks because she is at a party where everyone is drinking and she does not want to stand out. Neither teen would seek out drinking on their own, but they do it to fit into the peer group.
In other cases, teens do it because they’re actively looking for ways to rebel. They’re trying to be independent. They want to feel grown-up. They start to look at laws and restrictions as things to break if they can get away with it, and then they try to get away with it.
Many teens also copy their parents’ behaviors. They may see their parents drinking and be more likely to do it themselves, even though they know that it is legal for their parents and not for them.
Regardless of why it happens, if your teen gets arrested on alcohol-related charges and you’re worried about their future, be sure you know what options you have for their defense. An experienced attorney can guide you through the difficult times ahead.