Video: Two-Thirds of Teens Have Made Bad Decisions Linked to Underage Drinking; Girls More Likely to Suffer Related Social Consequences

New, teen-directed initiative highlights the social stigmas of drinking

most feared by teenagers

Apr 09, 2008, 01:00 ET from The Century Council

    WASHINGTON, April 9, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ninety-seven
 percent of American teen girls (ages 15-17) agree that underage drinking is
 not worth the adverse consequences it can cause. Yet two-thirds (68%) of
 American teens (boys and girls) admit they -- or someone they know -- have
 made regrettable decisions linked to drinking, according to a new survey
 from The Century Council, a Washington-based group which fights unlawful
 underage drinking. The nationwide survey, conducted by KRC Research,
 examined a wide range of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of 500 boys and
 girls ages 12-17.
     To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:
     The social and physical risks of underage drinking revealed in the
 survey are reflected in an innovative, teen-directed public service
 announcement (PSA) titled "What You Don't Know." The unique PSA concept --
 recently selected by representatives of MTV, the Ad Council and 20,000
 online voters -- aims to deter teens from underage drinking.
     Other key survey findings include:
     Gender Matters:
     -- Teen boys (67%) and girls (76%) believe that girls have "more to
 lose" when under the influence of alcohol.
     -- More boys are most concerned with not being able to participate in
 school sports or clubs as a result of drinking (15%) compared to girls
 (4%). Eleven percent of older teen boys and girls (15-17) are most
 concerned about not being able to attend once in a lifetime events such as
 prom or graduation.
     Teens Admit to Bad Decisions, Recognize Risks:
     -- Nine in ten (90%) don't think drinking is worth the negative
 consequences, with older teen girls (15-17) agreeing the most (97% vs. 89%
 for 12-14 year olds).
     -- Forty-five percent say they -- or someone they know -- have said
 things to friends they regret and four in ten (40%) say they -- or someone
 they know -- have gotten into a fight while drinking.
     -- Older teens (15-17) are more likely than younger teens (12-14) to
 say they -- or someone they know -- have made at least one bad decision as
 a result of drinking -- 72% vs. 60%.
     -- One fourth of teens (26%) admit they -- or someone they know -- have
 ridden in a car with a driver who has been drinking, and 21% admit they --
 or someone they know -- have driven under the influence. Not surprisingly,
 older teens are more likely to say they -- or someone they know -- have
 engaged in these behaviors.
     "Of course underage drinking is illegal and can lead to tragedies like
 car crashes and deaths, but the negative social consequences are much more
 prevalent," said Kylee Darcy, a freshman at the University of California at
 Berkeley and winner of The Century Council's "Reel Girls, Real Life"
 contest, which generated the new PSA. "I hope my commercial will make teen
 girls think twice about all of the dangers of underage drinking."
     The Council's "Reel Girls, Real Life" contest encouraged girls
 nationwide to submit concepts for television PSAs to dissuade peers from
 drinking. Darcy was awarded $5,000 and the opportunity to shoot her PSA
 with industry pros. Her prize also put her in the position to positively
 influence other teens.
     Darcy's PSA features two teen girls, "Kristen" and "Sarah," who are
 shocked to discover that a video of "Sarah" drinking at a party surfaced on
 a social networking web site. Viewers are instructed to visit to find out what happens next. In three short videos
 posted on the site, the girls explain that they felt "Alone," were
 "Benched" and got "Busted." also features behind-the-scenes
 footage of Darcy's PSA shoot.
     The PSA contest was part of The Century Council's public education
 initiative, Girl Talk: Choices and Consequences of Underage Drinking, which
 alerts teen girls to the unique social and physical risks of drinking for
 their demographic through presentations and an interactive Web site,
     "The Century Council gives young women a voice in curbing illegal
 underage drinking and promoting healthy lifestyles," said Council Chairman,
 Susan Molinari. "We hope that this PSA and the findings of our survey which
 both highlight the dangers of drinking teen girls often overlook, will
 inform her peers."
     About The Century Council
     The Century Council's mission is to promote responsible decision-making
 regarding drinking or non-drinking of beverage alcohol and to discourage
 all forms of irresponsible consumption through education, communications,
 research, law enforcement and other programs. Recognizing fifteen years of
 progress, America's leading distillers have promoted The Council's mission
 by investing over $175 million in its programs to fight drunk driving and
 underage drinking. For more information about Girl Talk or The Century
 Council, please visit or
     Survey Methodology
     KRC Research conducted the telephone survey among a national sample of
 500 teens comprising 250 males and 250 females 12 to 17 years of age,
 living in private households in the continental United States. Interviewing
 was completed during the period February 21-24, 2008. The estimated margin
 of error for the study is �4.4% for all teens and 6.2% for each gender at
 95% confidence level.

SOURCE The Century Council