Prevention Works

Underage Drinking in South Carolina

The following facts make underage drinking one of our state’s most troubling health issues:

  • An estimated 85 South Carolinians under 21 die each year from alcohol use.
  • Underage drinking costs South Carolina $1 billion per year – $2,309 for each young person in our state.
  • 71% of ninth- through 12th-graders in South Carolina have tried alcohol.
  • 35% of these students took their first drink, beyond just a few sips, before age 13.
  • 40% of ninth- through 12th-graders in South Carolina drank alcohol in the past month.
  • In 2010, youth under 21 consumed an estimated 12% of the alcohol consumed in South Carolina.
  • Liquor is now the most popular drink of choice among high school students.
  • One in nine high school students has driven after drinking in the past month.
  • Excessive alcohol use ranks third among lifestyle-related causes of death in the United States.

For information on where to go in your community to get involved in the fight against underage alcohol use, click here.

For more information on underage driving, click here.

For More Information

For more information about this project, contact Michelle Nienhius at DAODAS, PO Box 8268, Columbia, SC 29202; telephone: 803-896-1184; or by e-mail at: mnienhius@daodas.sc.gov.