Underage Drinking

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Referral-based session

Underage Alcohol Consumption • ID Violations • Underage Possession of Alcohol • Housing and Student Conduct Violations

An intensive prevention program for diverting underage consumption. The session provides education, awareness, self-assessment and strategies to reduce the risk associated with alcohol consumption. Teens and young adults participate in a group discussion with a speaker who has been directly impacted by alcohol or an impaired driving crash. Everyone completes and signs a Restorative Justice agreement to commit to better, safer behavior. The group discusses alternatives to drinking and risky behavior. Individuals seeking ongoing support or treatment for related issues are connected to local human service or community agencies.

Program Rating 92%
92% rated the session as good or excellent.

Most individuals are referred by a local court or school. Each group is provided with a standard structure and curriculum. Teens and young adults discuss their personal experiences, and together they develop plans to move forward. The session focuses on harm reduction to prevent future issues, escalation and traumatic events.

By addressing alcohol in a small, focused group session, we can provide services in a timely manner, with an average turnaround time of completion within a month of the referral. This allows a brief intervention as to not over-respond to minor issues, while providing a foundation for safety planning and a commitment to better, safer choices.

2017 Full Year Data

0% drank alcohol when they were 17 or younger
30% first drank when they were 15 or younger
0% Do not currently live at home or with family
50% College Freshmen


0% at a lower risk
98% reported that what they learned will help reduce the risks associated with alcohol use.
0% Speaker effectiveness
Rated their speaker and volunteers as effective

All data has been anonymously summarized from self-assessment forms completed at-will by session participants.

Restorative Justice is not a lecture-based philosophy. Our services follow a format that is tuned to each group to meet individuals where they are at currently, providing an intervention for risky behaviors and focusing on preventing further harm.

Before attending the session, 69.1% of teens and young adults reported that they regularly take precautions keep themselves safe while drinking, with 71.9% of all participants reporting that they have a safety plan. Upon turning 21, they will continue to have choices about alcohol for the rest of their lives, and we aim to make it a priority for them to plan and prepare to keep themselves and others safe.

Referring teens and young adults to preventative services helps teach them to be aware of the impact of alcohol and related issues, including alcoholism and impaired driving. While only 3.4% reported that they have felt they had a personal problem with alcohol, any young person who feels as though they may have an issue is significant. SCVRJ staff and volunteers can help connect individuals to helpful and local resources.

When individuals feel comfortable and can express themselves, services can be directed towards core issues that impact them. Some individuals may have different experiences and behaviors, based on many factors including gender identity, tolerance and personal behavior.

  • 66.5% participate in drinking games.
  • 45.3% have had memory issues while or after drinking.
  • 9.6% get into fights or arguments when they are drinking.
  • 7.9% say alcohol has caused them to neglect responsibilities.
  • 6.7% have gone to work, class or school drunk.
  • 12.2% have missed a day of school or work because of drinking.
  • 1.1% drink daily.
  • 43.2% report using a controlled substance, and 15.0% have mixed drugs and alcohol.

When it comes to other substances, Restorative Justice looks at preventing further risks such as mixing substances, and we frequently address the risk of alcohol poisoning and drug overdose. We inform the group about emergency Good Samaritan and Immunity laws to educate our community on saving someone’s life.

Impaired and distracted driving is a huge public safety issue. SCV Restorative Justice frequently addresses safe driving practices in our sessions, and the real impact and consequences of car crashes and traffic fatalities. We not only address not getting behind the wheel after drinking, but refusing to ride with an impaired driver. Safety and exit planning are discussed at length.

  • 9.0% report that they have driven shortly after having two or three drinks.
  • 2.8% report driving shortly after having four or more drinks.

What did you learn from this session?

“The real dangers of drinking alcohol even at a legal age. Alcohol stays in your system for a longer period of time than I had previously thought.”


Female participant, 2017
Reported after the session

“The speaker approached the topic in a different perspective, not in terms of breaking the law, but how we can improve the choices we make.”

Male participant, 2017
reported after the session