The Council for Developing Positive Youth Culture (DPYC) with assistance from our Regional Action Council ERASE, Inc. (East of the River Action for Substance Abuse Elimination) and the cooperation of the Ellington Public Schools, sponsors an Alcohol and Drug Use student survey every four years for students in grades 6 through 12. Results of the survey are compiled by ERASE.
The survey in 2009 showed that there is a significant increase in alcohol use between grades 6-8 and 9-12. Alcohol consumption increases significantly upon entering high school.
49% of students in grades 6 through 8 and 80% of students in grades 9 through 12 think alcohol is easy to obtain.
During focus group in the spring of 2010, the majority of students shared they got alcohol from their homes and from older friends. The Is It Worth It? campaign was created to reach those parents and older "friends" of youth who knowingly supply alcohol to youth and inform them of the legal and civil consequences associated with underage drinking. The older college friends of our youth who are of legal age put themselves at a high risk for legal and civil consequences. Parents who allow their children to host underage drinking parties also put themselves at a high risk. If those youth who are drinking in their homes are under the age of 16, a parent can be charged with Risk of Injury to a minor which is a felony.
**UPDATE: Results from the 2013 Student survey show past 30 day use went down 2.3% in grades 6-8 and 10.1% in grades 9-12 since the 2009 survey. This is great news, however, our work is not done.
Friends of underage youth who purchase alcohol for them can be fined up to $1500, imprisoned up to 18 months, or both.
Even if not charged, a person who supplies alcohol to youth is at risk of being sued.
It's NOT worth it! Know the Law. Please Keep Our Youth Safe.
Laws & Consequences of Underage Drinking
If a minor is caught with alcohol he/she is given a ticket. The first time is an infraction with a fine of $136. Subsequent offenses are subject to fines of $200 to $500. IN ADDITION-Dept. of Motor Vehicles is notified and the person loses his/her license for 30 days if on private property and 60 days if on a public street or highway.
If someone delivers or gives alcohol to a minor, he/she is subject to a fine of up to $1500 or up to 18 months in jail or both.
Social Hosting (allowing minors other than your own child to drink in your home) is illegal. First offense is an infraction. Subsequent offenses: Fine up to $500 or up to one year in jail or both.
***THE SOCIAL HOST LAW IN CONNECTICUT HAS BEEN CHANGED AND IS TOUGHER. AS OF OCTOBER 1, 2012 THE PENALTY FOR HOSTING UNDERAGE DRINKING IN YOUR HOME WENT FROM AN INFRACTION TO A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR WHICH IS PUNISHABLE BY UP TO ONE YEAR IN PRISON, UP TO A $2,000 FINE, OR BOTH.***
If a minor is under the age of 16, an additional risk of injury can be charged to the person supplying the alcohol. THIS IS A FELONY. If a minor is caught in a motor vehicle with alcohol, he/she can lose his/her license for up to 60 days.