Underage drinking trend won't change legal severity

With the holidays in full force, many adults will enjoy (or endure) the company of their family and friends while sipping on their favorite seasonal alcoholic drinks. Kids watch their parents and how they enjoy the holidays. Drinking habits can increase a child or teen's temptation to try alcohol. 

A new study about underage drinking, however, suggests that fewer teens are turning to alcohol for a new experience. Surveys suggest that the rate of underage drinking in the country has decreased a bit. Still, that doesn't mean that kids won't get into trouble with the law in Minnesota.

Teens and even some parents might live with the idea that all teens will try to drink -- that it is no big deal. And while in the scope of a long life a parent catching their teen a bit buzzed might not be significant. There are instances of underage drinking that are more serious than others, including when a child gets caught up in the legal system for their so-called "common" behavior. 

Underage drinking might not be as common as some might believe, even more so today based on statistics. Whereas in 2001, about 41 percent of high school seniors claimed to have used alcohol, now about 38 percent admit to indulging. One hole we should consider regarding the study is that, perhaps, more younger people are drinking. Limiting a study to seniors in high school gives a small view of a larger issue. 

Even someone as young as 13, for example, could be caught drinking and charged with minor consumption in Hennepin County. The "minor" in the phrase does not mean that minor consumption is a minor issue. Though it is a charge for juveniles that will be handled in the juvenile system, major penalties can come with this kind of incident. A defense lawyer experienced in navigating juvenile cases can help to best protect a child's best interests and his or her future.

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