Executive Summary

From Manteo to Asheville, North Carolina Preventing Underage Drinking Initiative (NCPUDi) Collaboratives implement environmental management strategies to prevent underage drinking. The following is a report on the state of underage drinking in North Carolina, including NCPUDi results as well as North Carolina and national comparisons.

Underage Drinking & Excessive Alcohol Consumption

  • Approximately 5000 youth die annually from underage drinking. (CDC, 2012)
  • Underage drinking does damage to the developing brain. (White, 2003)
  • Underage drinking cost North Carolina $1.3 billion in 2013. (PIRE, 2015)
  • Alcohol is the 2nd leading preventable cause of cancer. (WHO, 2008; Schottenfeld et al. 2013)
  • Underage drinkers are heavier consumers than adults. They drank an average of 3.2 drinks per day; in contrast, legal customers consumed only 1.5. (PIRE, 2015)

Project Outcomes

Alcohol Purchase Surveys (APSs):

From July of 2008 through March 2017, there has been a 41% reduction in the number of outlets that have failed alcohol purchase surveys.


Talk It Up. Lock It Up!™

Over 20,000 signatures have been gathered from adults across North Carolina committing to locking the alcohol in their homes.


Sticker Shock

Since July of 2012, over 29,000 flavored alcoholic beverages have been stickered in more than 582 stores across North Carolina.


Youth Involvement

From its inception, the NCPUDi project has recognized the need for youth to lead efforts to prevent underage drinking. NCPUDi Collaboratives have been professionally trained and have youth involvement as a core component of their work. In the last 3 years an average of 100 NCPUDi youth per year contributed a combined 2400 hours toward preventing underage drinking. 


Law Enforcement

Through the partnership of community-based organizations, new multi-jurisdictional law enforcement teams have been created to focus on youth access to alcohol and other underage drinking enforcement operations.



Since 2008, nearly 1000 pieces of media have been earned by NCPUDi Collaboratives.


Underage Drinking & Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Among High School Students in North Carolina from 2005 to 2015 (1) there has been a:

  • 34% reduction in alcohol use before age 13;
  • 31% reduction in past 30 day use of alcohol; and
  • 40% reduction in binge drinking.


Compared to the Nation, North Carolina ranks (2):

  • 48th lowest in 12-20 year old past 30 day use;
  • 49th lowest in 12-20 year old binge drinking; and
  • 30th lowest in alcohol related traffic fatalities among 15-20 year olds.