Underage Drinking in Kentucky - General Overview

  • Death -- 4,300 youth in the U.S. die every year from alcohol-related incidents.(CDC, 2006-2011)

  • Brain Development -- Alcohol is particularly damaging to the brain which continues to develop into the early to mid 20s. 

  • Alcohol Dependence -- Youth who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than people who begin drinking at age 21.(Grant, B.F., & Dawson, 1997)

    • In 2012, 216 youth age 12 to 20 years were admitted for alcohol treatment in Kentucky, accounting for 4% of all treatment admissions for alcohol abuse in the state. (PIRE, March 2015)

  • Memory Loss -- Approximately 1 in 6 (16.2%) Kentucky 12th graders have reported blacking out as result of their drinking or drug use. (KIP Survey, 2014)

  • Underage Drinking Costs -- In 2013, underage drinking cost the citizens of Kentucky $648.2 million.  These costs include medical care, work loss, and pain and suffering associated with the multiple problems resulting from the use of alcohol by youth.  This translates to $1,625 per year for each youth in the state or $2.99 per drink consumed underage.  In contrast, a drink in Kentucky retails for $0.78. (PIRE, March 2015)

- Click below to access data and research links -

Underage Drinking Costs -- Kentucky 2015 Fact Sheet (PDF)

  • In 2012, underage customers consumed 12.6% of all alcohol sold in KY (verses 9.9% in the U.S.).
  • Ranking states based on % of alcohol consumed underage, with 1 the highest, KY ranked #7.
  • KY Youth drank an average of 4.5-drinks per day (verses 4-drinks per day in the U.S.); in contrast, legal customers consumed only 1.3 (verses 1.6-drinks per day in the U.S.).
  • Source: PIRE Underage Drinking in KY Cost Report, March 2015

Kentucky Alcohol PES Statewide Data Master Document (updated 2015-08)

  • Alcohol Retailer Compliance Data
  • Local alcohol ordinance/ wet-dry status
  • Local RBS Ordinance Status v. Drunk Driving Crashes and Alcohol Arrests
  • Social Access to Alcohol in Kentucky Facts - based on Alcohol PES Social Host 102
  • Youth 30-Day Alcohol Use Rates
  • Youth and Adult Binge Drinking Rates

County Health Rankings - Kentucky Overview

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

Kentucky 2012 Annual Injury Data Report

Kentucky Data Warehouse for Substance Abuse Prevention

Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

Kentucky Health Facts

Data by county on demographics, social and behavioral indicators, health outcomes, access to care, maternal and child health, and senior health.

Kentucky Incentives for Prevention (KIP) Survey

The KIP survey provides information about student self-reported use, perceptions, and perceived assessibility of substances.  Statewide data is available for 2004, 2006,and 2008.  Statewide and Regional data and trends reports are available for 2010, 2012, and 2014.  The survey is conducted every two years in the 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grades.

Kentucky Office of Highway Safety Resources

Kentucky State Police Crime in KY and Traffic Collisions in KY Annual Reports

Kids Count Data Books