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Under Age drinking in the USA

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    Alright,

    I'm going on a year abroad to UCSB next year, but i'll only be 19/20. Just wondering if anyone has any experience of being in America before they are 21? What is the score when it comes to drinking? Is it just like here when you can get someone to get you drinks then get smashed at a house party as long as you don't cause any damage? Or is it more easy to get in trouble with the police?
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    I think they're rather strict with under 21s
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    There's a lot of underage drinking here, especially at Universities.

    Just don't go drinking in public; stay at parties that aren't likely to get shut down (noise violations, etc.)
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    Yeh I always wondered what uni would be like with the problem of buying alcohol.
    Who exactly gets the booze in?
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    (Original post by game of james)
    Yeh I always wondered what uni would be like with the problem of buying alcohol.
    Who exactly gets the booze in?
    Either people over 21 or people with fake ID's.

    At NYU, for example, we don't allow parties in dorms, and you cannot have alcohol if anyone in the room is under 21. Other schools differ on such rules though.

    Rutgers allows large dorm parties so long as: (1) You notify the housing department in advance; (2) you have someone (a student) checking ID's to get into the dorm room. (Technically, dorm rooms are very large 3 bedroom apartments).
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    They are really strict. They asked for identity from my grandfather (old looking) and also my dad a few times in resturants etc
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    (Original post by NYU2012)
    Either people over 21 or people with fake ID's.

    At NYU, for example, we don't allow parties in dorms, and you cannot have alcohol if anyone in the room is under 21. Other schools differ on such rules though.

    Rutgers allows large dorm parties so long as: (1) You notify the housing department in advance; (2) you have someone (a student) checking ID's to get into the dorm room. (Technically, dorm rooms are very large 3 bedroom apartments).
    Fair enough, I'd **** myself when handing over a fake ID.
    I take it house parties are way bigger than going out to pubs and clubs then?
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    I actually did a year abroad at UIUC (Illinois) and I was 20 going on 21 (which was fun).

    I drank a LOT probably even more than after I turned 21.

    I'm sure this is giving the wrong impression.. I wasn't drunk all the time, but yes, I did drink - however, it wasn't in public, but at non-student-dorm house parties (of which there are a lot, probs because of the drinking limitations). One of my friends (American) got caught drinking in a bar (which he was allowed to enter, but not allowed to consume alcohol) and his punishment was to take an online quiz (the results showed him how many things he could have bought instead of spending money on booze) and write an essay on how drinking under age was bad.
    He was taken in a campus police vehicle though. Felt bad for him. Real nice guy lol.

    Have fun!
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    Kind of worried about this. Is it stricter in certain areas of the country? I ask as i'm hopefully going to spend a semester abroad at the University of Washington in Seattle or UT at Austin...
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    (Original post by game of james)
    Fair enough, I'd **** myself when handing over a fake ID.
    I take it house parties are way bigger than going out to pubs and clubs then?
    Depends on where you go to school; for example, NYU students always go out because no one has a 'house' to have a 'house party'. Large state U's, etc. will have a lot of house parties.
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    Just seems weird, in the UK if you are caught hammered they just tell you to go home, and at home you can pretty much get hammered after you are 15 at a house party/gathering! Yet in the states they talk about fines/jail/community service!
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    Lol have you not seen American pie?? They have house parties etc but the cops like to bust their parties :/ lol


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    So odd that they have people running around with guns. Yet you're not allowed to drink til you're over 21...
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    (Original post by Always.Inbetween)
    I actually did a year abroad at UIUC (Illinois) and I was 20 going on 21 (which was fun).

    I drank a LOT probably even more than after I turned 21.

    I'm sure this is giving the wrong impression.. I wasn't drunk all the time, but yes, I did drink - however, it wasn't in public, but at non-student-dorm house parties (of which there are a lot, probs because of the drinking limitations). One of my friends (American) got caught drinking in a bar (which he was allowed to enter, but not allowed to consume alcohol) and his punishment was to take an online quiz (the results showed him how many things he could have bought instead of spending money on booze) and write an essay on how drinking under age was bad.
    He was taken in a campus police vehicle though. Felt bad for him. Real nice guy lol.

    Have fun!
    I hate punishments that are "write an essay/letter/whatever on why what you did was bad". Seems so condescending.
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    (Original post by NYU2012)
    Either people over 21 or people with fake ID's.

    At NYU, for example, we don't allow parties in dorms, and you cannot have alcohol if anyone in the room is under 21. Other schools differ on such rules though.

    Rutgers allows large dorm parties so long as: (1) You notify the housing department in advance; (2) you have someone (a student) checking ID's to get into the dorm room. (Technically, dorm rooms are very large 3 bedroom apartments).
    gosh that sounds really strict. we had parties in halls all the time and the only sort of "procedure" we followed is to check that no one living in the corridor or flat (depending on the hall) had a deadline soon after.

    I think living somewhere that I was suddenly underage for drinking again would be really weird, especially since I assume that you have to be 21 to serve alcohol as well and thats the only job I actually have experience in so finding a different type would be quite hard.
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    (Original post by boba)
    gosh that sounds really strict. we had parties in halls all the time and the only sort of "procedure" we followed is to check that no one living in the corridor or flat (depending on the hall) had a deadline soon after.

    I think living somewhere that I was suddenly underage for drinking again would be really weird, especially since I assume that you have to be 21 to serve alcohol as well and thats the only job I actually have experience in so finding a different type would be quite hard.
    You'll find dorm parties everywhere at schools like Rutgers, they just won't be sanctioned and run the risk of being shut down by school officials.

    You have to be 18 to serve alcohol, at least in many States.
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    Underage drinking at American universities is quite common. Everyone does it. It's usually very simple to find alcohol. Fake id's are rampant and if you don't have that just ask someone who is 21. I've said this before on TSR, but you Brits make out underage drinking in the US to be some unobtainable achievement or something. It's not. 18-21 year olds here drink just as much as 18-21 year olds in the UK. We just have to find slightly more creative ways of doing it. House parties and fraternity parties are your best bets if you don't have a fake.
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    (Original post by Baltimoron)
    Underage drinking at American universities is quite common. Everyone does it. It's usually very simple to find alcohol. Fake id's are rampant and if you don't have that just ask someone who is 21. I've said this before on TSR, but you Brits make out underage drinking in the US to be some unobtainable achievement or something. It's not. 18-21 year olds here drink just as much as 18-21 year olds in the UK. We just have to find slightly more creative ways of doing it. House parties and fraternity parties are your best bets if you don't have a fake.
    I don't think I've ever meant to say drinking in the us when 18-21 is unobtainable and hard. like you say you have to "find slightly more creative ways of doing it" which for most people here is what they have to do at 16/17. so if you do that at 16/17 then get used to legally being allowed and not having to if you go somewhere where you are underage again it feels strange and like being 17 again.

    although it would be good in some senses because you get the 18th birthday in the uk and the 21st in the us.

    plus obviously there are more important things when deciding to move somewhere than the drinking age.
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    (Original post by boba)
    I don't think I've ever meant to say drinking in the us when 18-21 is unobtainable and hard. like you say you have to "find slightly more creative ways of doing it" which for most people here is what they have to do at 16/17. so if you do that at 16/17 then get used to legally being allowed and not having to if you go somewhere where you are underage again it feels strange and like being 17 again.

    although it would be good in some senses because you get the 18th birthday in the uk and the 21st in the us.

    plus obviously there are more important things when deciding to move somewhere than the drinking age.
    Ok, yeah, I think we're on the same page haha. You're right, coming here and not being able to drink after being able to drink in the UK would be weird. I kind of know how that feels but it's the opposite. My friend and I went to Toronto for a couple days a couple weeks ago where the drinking age is 19. Being able to just sit down at a bar and order a drink without being asked for id was a very strange feeling. Great, but strange. Oh, and we went to Toronto solely because of the drinking age.
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    I had a friend who used to live in the States who said that Fake IDs are so much easier to get away with than in the UK because each State has a different style of drivers license, so it is a lot easier to get away with a 'bad' fake ID if you're using a fake Illinois license in Oregon, for example.

    I imagine the drinking habits of American's aren't all that different to ours; you play the cards you're dealt at the end of the day. People will always find ways to get around drinking laws.

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Updated: August 9, 2012
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