Dorchester County

Dorchester County Underage Drinking

Our Youth

Since alcohol is the substance used the most by Dorchester County youth who use any substances and alcohol use has increased as youth progress through their adolescent years, it raises cause for concern because:

  • Dorchester County eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders’ past 30-day use of alcohol rates are respectively 16.9%, 31.7%, and 44.3%.
  • Dorchester County eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders’ binge drinking rates are respectively 9.8%, 15.5%, and 20.3%.

Comparing the rate of alcohol use between Dorchester County’s youth and youth across the State also raises cause for concern because:

  • 20.9% of Dorchester County eighth graders reported using alcohol in the last 30 days compared to 12.7% statewide.
  • Dorchester County ranks 4th highest in the State for DUI arrests among the under 21 population.
  • Dorchester County ranks 5th highest in the State for liquor law violation arrests among arrestees under 21.

Our Adults

Adults in the community can set the behavior example for Dorchester County’s youth because they have a great deal of influence. Although most don’t, there are parents who provide alcohol to youth because they believe it is safer to provide at home and that alcohol use is a right. Also, most parents don’t have favorable attitudes toward underage drinking, but there are parents who say, “It is only alcohol, I did it, and what is it going to hurt?” Consequently, youth may not perceive any harm in using alcohol.

Binge Drinking

Educate yourself! Learn more about what defines binge drinking.

Be the Parent on the Scene!

Through the Be the Parent on the Scene social norms marketing campaign, we aim to reduce the rate of youth binge and underage drinking in Talbot County by informing the adults – specifically the parents -- in our community about current statistics and by encouraging change, both within themselves and as role models for their own children and for our county’s youth at-large.

Reducing these numbers will position the children in our county to have a higher potential for healthy lifestyles and future success.


In addition to the Be the Parent on the Scene web site, we offer a comprehensive list of resources related to underage drinking and alcohol abuse.