Underage drinking a major problem in Amarillo

The Center for Disease Control released a study that shows 1 in 5 high school girls binge drink. We found that drinking amongst underage teens in general continue to be an issue here in Amarillo.

Students at Tascosa High School explained how easily accessible alcohol was to them, despite the fact that they are underage.

"Around here at Tascosa, it's really easy," said 17-year-old Josh Paxton. "I mean you ask somebody and they just buy it for you or go to some stores and they'll sell it you if you look old enough."

Captain Mark Menn with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission says that's been a problem for years. "It always is an issue, underage drinking," he said. "As far as our licensed businesses that we regulate, it's the exception that they sell alcohol to minors rather than the norm."

Menn states that the TABC generally has an over 90% compliance rate which means that when given the opportunity, most of their licensed business do the right thing and do not sell alcohol to minors. To keep an eye on things, the TABC occasionally do a sting at locations in response to complaints about sales. If they do find stores that do happen to sell to minors, they believe that education is key to helping resolve the problem, not shutting those places down.

Regardless of employees being trained not to sell alcohol to minors, students say there are still plenty of other ways to get around it including getting alcohol from parents, friends or even having other people buy it for them.

The Monitoring the Future Survey found that 33% of 8th graders and 70% of 12th graders in the United States said they tried alcohol at some time in their lives.