Underage drinking isn't risk-free. Learn the facts.

Avoid a Situation You Could Regret

Did you know that alcohol is the most commonly used substance among young people in the US? Underage minors have a higher chance of developing an alcohol addiction in their adult years and parents that provide underage minors with alcohol could face jail time.

Frequently Asked Questions

We encourage you to click through to the linked sources to find more detailed information—so you can make informed decisions about your health.

How long does it take for alcohol to leave your system?

Answer: After you’ve began drinking, it takes about 60-90 minutes for the alcohol in your system to reach peak levels in the blood. At this point the body will begin breaking it down. It takes about 25 hours for your body to clear out all of the alcohol completely.

Being “drunk” is measured by your blood alcohol concentration. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the amount of alcohol in your blood compared to the amount of water in your blood. You are considered legally drunk in the US if you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter (and 0.05 in Utah).
How does alcohol affect your brain?

Answer: Alcohol interferes with your brain’s communication pathways. It can be harder for the areas of your brain that control balance, speech, judgement, and memory to do their jobs. Long-term drinking causes alterations to your brain’s neurons by reducing their size.

Some research has shown that because adolescent brains are still developing, they can be more susceptible to damage of cells that make up the hippocampus. Your hippocampus affects how well you can learn and store short term memories, which can play a part in how well you do at school, sports, and when learning new skills.
How risky is driving after you've drank alcohol?

Answer: Every 45 minutes someone is killed in a car accident related to drunk driving. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, where about a quarter of these fatal crashes involve an underage drinking driver.

Alcohol reduces the function of the brain, impairs your ability to think clearly, and can inhibit your muscle use. The loss of these bodily functions affect your ability to drive safely.
While drunk driving in the US is measured as .08 grams per deciliter (0.05 in Utah) of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving ability. In 2020, there were 2,041 people killed in alcohol-related crashes where a driver had a of .01 to .07 g/dL.
Even if you only have one drink (the average BAC of one drink is 0.02-0.04 g/dL), you can experience loss of judgement, loss of small muscle control, impaired judgement, and lowered alertness.
What are the risks of for youth who drink alcohol?

Answer: Youth who drink alcohol are more likely to experience:

  • School problems
  • Social problems
  • Legal problems
  • Physical development problems
  • Unplanned and/or unwanted sexual activity
  • Violence
  • Memory problems
  • Changes in brain development

The Pressure is On.

Reach out to your friends at UYLC’s Youth Advisory Board if you have more questions, would like ideas for saying “no” when you feel pressured, and/or want to hang out with people who have fun without getting drunk.

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