Underage drinking: The data

The issue of teenage drinking has been making headlines lately after two Monument teens were killed when the vehicle they were in crashed. The 17-year-old driver, who survived the crash, faces charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault after officials say he was under the influence of alcohol and speeding at the time of the crash.

So how big of an issue is teenage drinking? It’s tough to tell with data alone. Statistics, posted below, show that the number of juveniles cited for underage drinking or DUIs has dropped significantly in the past 10 years by almost all law enforcement agencies in the region and the state. In the Pikes Peak region, local law enforcement agencies show a 65 percent drop in liquor violations from 2004 to 2013. It’s unclear if the drop in citations is due to a drop in underage drinking or if enforcement has become less of a priority.

However, liquor stores are cited for selling to minors. Since 2011, the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division and the regional drug and alcohol task force Metro VNI have cited at least 85 stores and bars in El Paso and Teller counties, records show. The map below shows stores that have been cited.

Liquor stores cited for selling to minors

Source: Metro VNI and Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division. Data includes citations dating back to 2011 for the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division and back to 2013 for Metro VNI.