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Underage drinking costs Michigan $2 billion annually

For many Michigan teens, prom is right around the corner. This milestone marks the end of high school for many teens. Somewhere between the school dance and the after party, many teens will be tempted with alcohol. Underage drinking is not a rare crime in America. In fact it was estimated that last month, 10 million people under the age of 21 consumed alcohol in America.

Many times, few consequences other than a hangover result from teenage drinking. However what may seem like an innocuous pastime activity has cost the state some serious cash. Underage drinking alone has cost Michigan around $2 billion annually in costs to cover medical aid, driving accidents and property damage. It has also caused the death of many teens and injured countless others.

Recent reports have shown that many parents have become more accepting of underage drinking. Many even support it by buying alcohol for minors and letting teens have parties at their houses. One of the biggest downsides to this is the legal consequences. After the state passed the Social Host Liability Laws, adults who allow underage drinking on their property can face legal consequences including heavy fines regardless other whether they provided the alcohol. The drinking age in Michigan is 21; anyone caught with alcohol in their system below that age is susceptible to a "minor in consumption charge" .

With prom season in full motion, anyone convicted of underage drinking or similar offenses may find that they are jeopordizing their professional future. A defense attorney may provide additional advice and guidance for those facing underage drinking charges.

Source: The Voice, "Guest Column: Parents key in stopping underage drinking," Ashley Sims, May 6, 2013

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