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Study offers New York parents insights about teen drinking

At the annual gathering of the American Sociological Association, researchers presented the results of a survey about teen drinking. The responses of over 1,100 teenagers and young adults showed that clear parental rules against consuming alcohol reduced the likelihood of drinking among youth.

The study surveyed young people in 24 cities across seven states. Their ages ranged from 15 to 20, and they answered questions about going to parties, the consumption of alcohol and what rules their families had about these behaviors. Compared to youth whose parents had not set clear rules against drinking, the youth whose parents had expressly prohibited underage drinking were 35 percent less likely to even go to a party where alcohol was served.

Approximately 60 percent of the people surveyed had gone to a party with alcohol within the past 30 days. Even in this group, however, the likelihood that young people would consume alcohol dropped by 38 percent if their parents had clearly told them not to drink. A sociology professor who commented on the study said that the results could help parents make choices that would promote the healthy development of their children. Studies show that underage drinking often leads to drunk driving.

When a person, regardless of age, is charged with a DWI, they may face harsh penalties. Someone facing criminal charges has the right to speak with an attorney who can prepare a defense. An attorney could study the circumstances of the traffic stop and sobriety test. Unfair targeting or administrative errors could give the lawyer a reason to question the charges and possibly get the case dismissed. Otherwise, an attorney might approach a prosecutor and negotiate for a reduced charge or lenient sentence.

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