Underage Drinking Takes A Toll On Californians
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Aired 1/11/12 on KPBS News.
A new report reveals underage drinking cost California more than $6.5 billion in 2010.
SAN DIEGO A new report finds Californians pay a stiff price for underage drinking. The study from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation reveals the 2010 price tag was more than $6.5 billion.
The report says the costs of underage drinking were most pronounced in the categories of youth violence and car crashes. Those two areas combined cost California nearly $5 billion.
Beth Sise is on the San Diego County Alcohol Policy Panel. She believes cutting down on underage drinking would save money and lives.
"Moderating or eliminating that problem would reduce a lot of injuries, anywhere from suicide attempts, to drinking and driving, and domestic violence," Sise said.
San Diego County hospitals saw more than 1,600 emergency room visits by underage drinkers in 2008.
Alcohol remains the number one drug of choice for teenagers.