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Underage Drinking Pressure Comes from Friends of Romantic Partners

November 3, 2011 | Posted In Resources - Juvenile Law

Every New Jersey DUI Lawyer knows that peer pressure is one of the biggest contributing factors in underage or teen drinking, so it comes as no surprise that a new study confirms the link.  However, according to this study, the pressure comes not from the teenager's friends or romantic partners, but from friends of their boyfriends or girlfriend.

According to the study, adolescents are likely to mirror the drinking habits of the friends of people they are dating.  This means they are more likely to drink if friends of their boyfriend or girlfriend drink, and are influenced more by these people than by the person they're dating.  The researchers also found that people are more likely to drink excessively, or to binge drink, if friends of their romantic partners do so.  Conversely, if the teenager is in a relationship with a person whose friends do not drink alcohol, the teenager is much more likely to cut down on his own alcohol intake.

The researchers believe these results can be explained by the fact that teenagers want to emulate the behaviors of people who are very close to their romantic partners in order to cement their relationships.

The study also indicates that as teenagers get older, they are exposed to different social and environmental circles, and these influences can shape their drinking behavior as well.

Persons under the age of 21 convicted of driving after drinking any amount of alcohol in New Jersey face a 30-to-90-day license suspension. This is in addition to any loss of license for a DWI conviction, which can last anywhere from seven months to one year. Other penalties can include mandatory alcohol education, a delayed license, and 30 days of community service


The New Jersey DUI lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with DUI across New Jersey.


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