Know the Facts

There is a lot of data about underage drinking – both good and bad. The statistics can be ominous but at the same time research is telling us that more teens are not drinking alcohol. Please see below for our top 10 underage drinking facts as well as a list of consequences should you provide alcohol to minors.

Hawai‘i teens think that 85% of people their age drink at least one drink a day. In actuality, 75% of teens do not drink at all.

Almost half of all Hawai‘i youth have never drank.

For those Hawai‘i high schoolers who have drank, 16.9% had their first drink before the age of 13.

Three out of every four teenagers claims that their parents are a leading influencer on their opinion of drinking.

One in four car crashes with teenagers involve an underage drunk driver.

Teen alcohol use kills about 4,700 people each year — that’s more than all other illegal drugs combined.

One out of three teen deaths is caused by intoxication from alcohol.

Of Hawai‘i teens who drink, 85% report getting alcohol from home without their parents'/guardians' knowledge.

Of Hawai‘i teens who drink, 78% report getting alcohol from older family members who are not their parents/guardians.

One in four car crashes with teenagers involve an underage drunk driver.

Recent studies show that underage drinking can be linked to other risky behaviors displayed by teens who choose to consume alcohol. These negative consequences include:

Problems in school, like poor grades and increased absences

Increased risky sexual behavior, as well as decreased likelihood to practice safe sex

Increased risk of sexual or physical assault

Increased risk for depression and thoughts of suicide

Social issues, like lack of engagement in extra-curricular activities and arguments with peers

Greater likelihood to abuse other drugs in the future

Greater likelihood for drinking to escalate later in life, which can lead to medical problems such as cancers of the oral cavity, larynx, pharynx, and esophagus; liver cirrhosis; pancreatitis; and hemorrhagic stroke

Acquiescence to peer pressure, which can lead to negative secondhand effects that may put others at risk. This includes loud and unruly behavior, property destruction, vandalizing property, unintentional injuries and violence

In Hawai‘i, not only is giving alcohol to a minor illegal, but allowing a minor to drink is unlawful. You can be arrested and criminally charged for providing a place for minors to drink whether it’s at your home, yard, rental property, car – anywhere under your control.

Social Host Law

The social host liability law states that consciously permitting a minor to drink under your supervision or on your property is a misdemeanor. The penalty for failing your responsibility as social host could entail financial charges up to $2,000 and one year of jail time.

Use & Lose Law

If someone underage is caught with alcohol in their possession or in their system, they will lose their driver’s license for 180 days. The person is also required to serve 75 hours of community service and 8-12 hours of alcohol education, and counseling.

Zero Tolerance Law

Anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from operating a vehicle with any percentage of alcohol in their system. The consequences include losing their driver’s license/privilege to drive for 180 days, 8-12 hours of alcohol education and counseling, and a $150-1,000 fine.

Source: HRS 291E-64