Risky behaviour

Sex

Drinking alcohol lowers people’s inhibitions, and makes them more likely to do things they would otherwise not do. Young people are particularly at risk because, at their stage of life, they are still testing the boundaries of what is acceptable behaviour. 

One in five girls (and one in ten boys) aged 14 to 15 goes further than they wanted to in a sexual experience after drinking alcohol.

In the most serious cases, alcohol could lead to them becoming the victim of a sexual assault.

Criminal behaviour

Young people who get drunk at least once a month are twice as likely to commit a criminal offence as those who don’t. More than one in three teenagers who drink alcohol at least once a week have committed violent offences such as robbery or assault.

Young people who get involved with crime are also likely to end up with a criminal record. This can damage their prospects for the rest of their life. Having a criminal record can exclude people from some jobs and, for some offences, prevent them from travelling abroad.