PA Against Underage Drinking


To report underage drinking in Pennsylvania,

call toll-free: 1-888-under-21

Your call could save someone's life.

How many children drink alcohol?

American boys usually try alcohol for the first time at 11 years of age; American girls first try alcohol at 13. American Medical Association, 2001

9.7 million youth (27.5 percent) aged 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Of these, 6.6 million (18.7 percent) were binge drinkers and 2.1 million (six percent) were heavy drinkers. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, 2001

Alcohol usage among Pennsylvania middle school students is higher than that found nationally (35 versus 32 percent). Alcohol use by sixth graders was 20 percent, 32 percent by seventh graders and 48 percent by eighth graders. Drug Free Pennsylvania, 2001

Is enforcement of underage drinking and driving under the influence laws effective?

Young drivers in Pennsylvania who received a license action as a result of a conviction for underage drinking or driving under the influence were less likely to have convictions for subsequent traffic violations. Drivers who received a license action as a result of conviction for underage drinking were the least likely to be involved in a subsequent traffic crash (as compared to drivers convicted for DUI who received a license action and drivers convicted for either offense who received no license action). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2001


  • Smell of alcohol on breath, or sudden, frequent use of breath mints.

  • Abrupt changes in mood or attitude.

  • Sudden decline in attendance or performance at school.

  • Losing interest in school, sports or other activities that used to be important.

  • Sudden resistance to discipline at school.

  • Uncharacteristic withdrawal from family, friends or interests.

  • Heightened secrecy about actions or possessions.

  • Associating with a new group of friends whom your child refuses to discuss.

Click on the link for educational materials|32527|32535||