Underage Drinking. Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States. 1 Excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year, and cost the U.S. $24 billion in economic costs in 2010. 2,3 Although the purchase of alcohol by persons under the age of 21 is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed.
The legal drinking age is the minimum age at which a person can legally consume alcoholic beverages.The minimum age alcohol can be legally consumed can be different from the age when it can be purchased in some countries. These laws vary between different countries and many laws have exemptions or special circumstances.
Jun 27, 2008 · European teenagers’ familiarity with alcohol use, driven by a culture of “moderate, supervised drinking within families” and lower legal drinking ages, is an increasingly attractive model for American parents, writes John Cloud in Time magazine. Cloud outlines research on alcohol consumption in the United States that suggests that teenage drinking has fallen in recent decades, though.