Underage drinking is widespread. In a recent survey, 43% of North Carolina high school students reported drinking alcohol during the past 30 days. The effects of excessive drinking range well beyond motor vehicle crashes. Alcohol use is also implicated in suicides, homicides, assaults, and injuries from a variety of causes. Early use of alcohol can also lead to alcohol dependency and abuse in adulthood. Research is beginning to show that drinking during the teen years produces brain damage that may be irreversible.
One way young persons obtain alcohol is by purchasing it at a store. An effective way to deter the sale of alcohol to underage persons is to hold retailers accountable for illegally selling to a young person. Purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol while less than 18 may result in the revocation of a provisional license until the offender becomes 18.
Driving after drinking while less than 21 is illegal in North Carolina and may result in license revocation. (Be aware that these convictions do not constitute the entirety of impaired driving convictions for drivers under 21.)