How Many Drinks Are Too Many?

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Teenage drinking has been making parents worry for decades. You may think that your teen isn’t drinking and never would, but research shows that 22 percent of 16 year old teens and 57 percent of 20 year old teens have tried alcohol. The percentage increases as the age does.

Why do Teens Drink?

Being a teenager is rough. Dramatic physical and emotional changes combined with high and middle school cliques and politics make one tough environment. There are several reasons why teens reach for the bottle.

It’s Dangerous

Young adults like taking risks and don’t always think about the consequences before making choices. Drinking is another risky behavior that provides intoxication from the alcohol and the thrill of getting caught.

It’s Fun

Teens that have grown up watching others partying and having fun while drinking are more likely to pick it up. They learn it by watching their parents or other adults close to them.

It’s Stress Relief

Some of today’s youth have issues with hyperactivity, aggression, and depression. Drinking may provide relief or escape from the strains of everyday life.

How many drinks are too many?

One drink can already cause behavior change. The more drinks consumed, the more changes are seen. Each drink raises blood alcohol content (BAC) level and has effects.

One to two drinks

After one or two drinks, your teen will feel bolder, more relaxed, and somewhat euphoric. Cognitive thinking and memory are just a little affected.

Two to three drinks

At this point, drinkers will start to feel dizzy and uninhibited. They will experience slower reaction time and vision, balance, and speech impairment.  The adult legal BAC limit of .08 is reached at this point.

Four to five drinks

Teens are obviously drunk at this point. Gross motor skill impairment results in stumbling or falling. Drinkers will experience blurry vision, slurred speech, and nausea.

Many states have adopted laws allowing DUI charges when a teen has any alcohol in his system—even a miniscule amount. For teens, even one drink is too many.

What to do About a DUI?

Teens facing DUI charges are in serious trouble. Contacting a local DUI attorney or an online attorney at websites like is the first step. Lawyers that specialize in this field will know the best approach for your teen’s case.

Be prepared to shell out some serious cash, but your teen should help as much as possible with expenses. His or her driving privileges will be revoked, and your teen may have to do shock time in jail.

Nothing scares the parents more than their teenagers driving drunk or high. Educate your teen about alcohol’s effects and the consequences of driving drunk. Make sure your teen knows that he or she can call you for pick up, even if your teen is the one drinking. A drunk teen is better than a dead teen.

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