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Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking

In 2006, Congress enacted the Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act (STOP Act), Public Law 109-422. Among other provisions, the STOP Act calls for the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to submit an annual Report to Congress on the consequences of underage drinking and Federal and State policies to prevent and reduce it. Four reports have been submitted to Congress to date, most recently the 2012 Report to Congress on Underage Drinking Prevention and Reduction. The 2012 Report includes:

  • An overview of underage drinking prevention.
  • A summary of the research on underage drinking prevalence and problems, and descriptions of Federal programs addressing the issue.
  • Analysis of 23 state underage drinking prevention policies.
  • A summary of responses from a survey of all 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) regarding their prevention programs, efforts to enforce underage drinking laws, interagency collaborations, and state expenditures on underage drinking prevention.
  • Reports for each of the 50 states and D.C. describing the status of the state’s 23 underage drinking prevention policies and providing the state’s responses to the survey described above.

The underage drinking prevention policy section of the Report includes a description of each policy, its key variables, status across all jurisdictions, and summary of trends over time (where data is available). Maps and charts are included. The policies included in the Report are listed below. Many of the policies in the Report also appear on the APIS website.


Laws Addressing Minors in Possession of Alcohol

  • Underage Possession, Consumption, and Internal Possession of Alcohol (3 policies)*
  • Underage Purchase and Attempted Purchase of Alcohol*
  • False Identification for Obtaining Alcohol*

Laws Targeting Underage Drinking and Driving

  • Youth Blood Alcohol Concentration Limits (Underage Operators of Noncommercial Motor Vehicles)*
  • Loss of Driving Privileges for Alcohol Violations by Minors (“Use/Lose Laws”)*
  • Graduated Driver Licenses

Laws Targeting Alcohol Suppliers

  • Furnishing of Alcohol to Minors*
  • Compliance Check Protocols
  • Penalty Guidelines for Sales/Service to Minors
  • Responsible Beverage Service*
  • Minimum Ages for On-Premises Servers and Bartenders*
  • Minimum Ages for Off-Premises Sellers*
  • Dram Shop Liability
  • Social Host Liability
  • Prohibitions Against Hosting Underage Drinking Parties*
  • Direct Shipments/Sales from Producers to Consumers (Internet Sales)
  • Keg Registration*
  • Home Delivery

Alcohol Pricing Policies

  • Alcohol Taxes*
  • Low Price, High Volume Drink Specials
  • Wholesaler Pricing Restrictions


* Policy appears both in the Report to Congress and on the APIS website.


Each State Report and policy summary is easily retrievable using drop down menus on the website.
View the Report to Congress here: https://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/resources/reporttocongress/RTC2012.aspx

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services USA.gov - Government Made Easy