Underage Drinking Prevention

Underage Drinking Is Not A Minor Problem.

It Is Against The Law.

It is illegal, unsafe, and unhealthy for anyone under age 21 to drink alcohol.

If someone is under age 21, it is illegal to possess, consume, purchase, or attempt to purchase beer, wine or liquor.

Underage violators can:

  • Be fined up to $470 and/or go to jail for up to 30 days for a first offense.
  • Lose their driver’s license for 120 days for a first offense and one year for a second or subsequent offense.
  • Be required to complete an alcohol prevention/ intervention/education program.

The law is not based on responsibility, but on human physiology. The brain of an 18-year-old is not fully developed. The brain does not finish its development until a person is in their early 20s. During its development, the brain is very vulnerable to alcohol and other drugs.

Youth who use alcohol before age 21 are more likely to drop out of school.  They are also more likely to develop health problems such as substance use disorders.

We need to all work together to keep alcohol out of the hands of our youth.

Facts For Parents & Caregivers

  • It is illegal to give alcohol to your teen’s underage friends under any circumstances... even in your own home... even with their parents’ permission.
  • You cannot knowingly allow a person under age 21 - other than your own child - to consume or possess alcohol in your home or on your property.

What Can Happen If Adults Break The Law?

  • You face a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and $1,075 in fines and fees.
  • Your penalties can “stack up,” as you can be ticketed for each underage person you provide with alcohol.
  • You can be sued if you give alcohol to anyone under 21 and they, in turn, hurt someone, hurt themselves or damage property.

What You Can Do To Protect Yourself

  • Refuse to supply alcohol to anyone under 21
  • Be at home when your teen has friends over
  • Make sure that alcohol is not brought into your home or property by your teen’s friends
  • Talk to other parents about not providing alcohol at other events your child will be attending
  • Create alcohol-free opportunities and activities in your home so teens feel welcome
  • Report underage drinking to local law enforcement

Download 5 Conversation Goals for Talking to Your Kids About Alcohol and Other Drugs

Download Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Impaired Driving

Download Family Agreement on Avoiding Alcohol

Click Here To Learn More About The Alcohol Enforcement Teams (AET) Initiative To Reduce Underage Drinking In South Carolina


This was prepared by Cornerstone and the 8th Judicial Circuit Alcohol Enforcement Team through a grant from the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplement Appropriations Act of 2021 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration),CFDA Number 93.959 FAIN – B08TI083544
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