The drinking age in the state of North Carolina is 21-years-old. A conviction for North Carolina underage drinking becomes part of a young person’s criminal record. The Task Force on Community Preventive Services advocates that states maintain the minimum drinking age of 21-years. The task force would also like to see more enforcement across the country of laws prohibiting sales of alcohol to minors.
In addition to state law, schools in and around Greenville have their own policies and rules concerning underage alcohol use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to poorer performance at school. The CDC says underage alcohol consumption plays a role in more than 4,600 deaths of people under 21-years-of-age in the United States each year.
The task force argues for maintenance and increased enforcement of underage drinking laws based upon evidence that shows a 16 percent reduction of underage car crashes after states raised the drinking age to 21. States with strict alcohol laws tend to have lower rates of binge drinking overall, including among adults as well as college students. North Carolina has a zero tolerance for underage DWI. Any evidence, even an officer’s testimony can support a charge for a North Carolina underage DWI.
Most people that are under 21-years-old that consume alcohol indulge in binge drinking, according to government statistics. The CDC says that underage drinkers are more likely to consume 5 or more drinks in a row than adults, leading to intoxication.
Most states adopted the 21-year-old drinking age in 1991. A 1985 survey of people ages 18 to 20 years old indicated that 59 percent had consumed alcohol within the previous month. In 1991, the number declined to 40 percent that admitted alcohol consumption in the previous month.
The surveys show that in the 21 to 25 year old age group the numbers declined from 70 percent in 1985 to 56 percent in 1991. The task force believes the higher drinking age reduces underage alcohol offenses and tends to lower consumption by adults.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Age 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age,” 10 July 2010