Another thing for parents to worry over

August 10, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                   

Thursday, August 10, 2006

CONTACT:  John Fleming

(850) 201-3208, (850) 443-5941 (cell)


Kids surveyed in national Web poll say they are buying alcohol online


NBC News investigation finds it easy for underage drinkers to buy online


TALLAHASSEE — A national survey released today found evidence that millions of kids either buy beer, wine or liquor online, or know someone else underage who gets alcohol that way.  As exposure and awareness increase, even more minors can be expected to purchase wine, beer and liquor online, the research warns.


NBC News last night revealed the results of a news investigation that profiled a high school student who bought alcohol online with his friends and had it delivered to his home with no ID check.  According to NBC News chief consumer correspondent Lea Thompson, two packages of alcohol products were delivered to a state where mail order alcohol is illegal — one was delivered to a 15-year-old with no questions asked. Only one package came marked as alcohol, and the others came in brown paper wrappers.  Please watch the story online at:


Legislation that would have established strict controls over online and mail-order sales of alcohol in Florida was defeated last year by interests working for the California wine industry, who said the limitations would hurt their business.


“Online sales of alcohol are risky, and we should be very concerned with the expansion of these types of sales,” said John Fleming, spokesman for the Florida Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking. “The sellers who are mailing out alcohol without concern for who’s getting the product should be held accountable.”


The April 2006 survey by Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU) of 1,001 minors ages 14-20 assesses the awareness of minors ages 14 to 20 of Web sites that sell alcohol.  Teenage Research Unlimited said the results suggest that as young people become more familiar with alternative options for alcohol purchase, their willingness to experiment with this supply method will likely increase.


According to the survey:

  • Two percent (551,000) of those ages 14-20 say they personally have bought alcohol online, and the figure rises to 578,000 when adding phone purchases.
  • 3.1 million minors (12%) ages 14-20 report having a friend who has ordered alcohol online and the figure rises to 3.4 million when adding phone purchases.
  • Nearly one in 10 (9%) of those ages 14-20 have visited a site that sells alcohol.
  • While 60 percent say parents wouldn’t find out if they used the Internet for something they weren’t suppose to, 68 percent report parents don’t try to control their online activity.
  • On the other hand, fully 81 percent say parents trust their judgment when using the Internet.
  • Four out of five (79%) say they have friends their own age who drink, while 56 percent say they themselves have had alcohol.

·        Among those who have had alcohol, one-fourth (26%) say they drink wine at least sometimes, one-third say they drink beer at least sometimes, and almost half say they drink liquor at least sometimes.


Objectives & Methodology of the Survey:


Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU) conducted quantitative research to assess young people’s awareness of Web sites that sell alcohol, their assumptions about the practicality of using the Internet or phone to circumvent underage-drinking laws, and their propensity to order alcohol via the Internet, phone, or mail. Survey results should serve as a warning to the likelihood of increased underage access as word spreads from peer to peer about the availability of alcohol online, by phone or by mail.  The online survey was commissioned by the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America.


The survey was fielded from April 3-11, 2006, and was completed by 1,001 people ages 14-20 (yielding a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points for this sample in total, at a 95 percent confidence level). Resulting data have been weighted according to the 2004 U.S. Census to be representative of the national online population of the surveyed age group.



The Florida Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking is made up of business leaders, law enforcement, clergy, educators and community groups dedicated to protecting state laws relating to the sale of beer, wine and liquor over the Internet, by phone or through the mail by unlicensed out-of-state companies.  The Coalition supports Florida law requiring that alcohol only be sold through licensed businesses in Florida that can be held accountable for violations.


2 Responses to “Another thing for parents to worry over”

  1. KK Casey Says:

    I am considered an overprotective parent; yet,I would rather be that than let a situation occur where my child is in a position that could cost him his life, or others theirs. I have certain rules: the computer is in the kitchen/dining area, no internet access (even if it is homework related) until mom and dad or another adult is around,and absoltuely no ordering anything off the internet without parental approval. Also, I have security settings, which are easy to set up, for children to prohibit them visiting certain websites and also, that will track where they have been on the computer.
    For a couple of years, some of my friends thought I was crazy. However, once one of my friends found out the stuff her child as a 13 year old was posting on, called me to ask,”what do i do??” I am horrified of not just alcohol and drugs, but the pedophiles and other “corrupt” things the internet brings. It should be noted that if you start this monitoring early, your children don’t complain, they just take it as a rule of thumb. Today, my children say,” I have to wait until mom is home to do this.” Unncecessary? You never know, until a story like this hits home. What if they drove, after they drank and killed someone in a car crash. There you are with your child in a DUI manslaughter situation. Better to be safe than sorry in my opinion.

  2. Lisa C. Says:

    This is the most ridiculous survey I’ve ever seen. Most kids A)don’t want to wait weeks for a delivery B)don’t want to pay the highest prices plus shipping and handling, C)can get alcohol much more easily offline – pay someone $5 to get them beer or vodka, etc.

    This survey was conducted by an organization that wants to protect their monopoly on alcohol sales — the methods that actually make it easier for kids to get booze. In order to do this, they are trying to scare people about something that is actually much less of a threat.

    We should all be embarrassed about how gullible we are. Chicken Little lives.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s