Teenage girl hands two teenage boys beers out of her backpack.

Underage Drinking

DC’s underage drinking laws are strict and for good reason.

In DC and in most of the United States, underage drinking rates are high. We can’t ignore the risks youth experience when they start to drink too early.

The Department of Behavioral Health’s “There’s A Reason Campaign” is a resource for parents and caregivers to provide them with an overview of underage drinking risks and warning signs. Our goal is to give you the tips and resources you need to start speaking early rather than later with the young people in your life about alcohol. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends having the conversation as early as 9 years old.

Teenage boy holds a lunch tray with sandwich, fruitcup and can of beer.In DC, more than 20.1% of high schoolers
have had at least

one drink of alcohol.

Teenage boy wearing a backpack with two mini alcohol bottles.

If you find out your child is drinking, the Department
of Behavioral Health
can assist you with

finding treatment options.