The high cost of underage drinking in Washington State

The Washington State Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery recently released its 2010 Report on Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Trends in Washington State.  Included is this chart (on page 179) about the costs of underage drinking in our state.  The report states:

Underage drinking in Washington State is associated with substantial harm resulting from traffic crashes, violent crime, unintentional injury, and risky sexual behavior.

-- In 2007, it is estimated that there were 32 traffic fatalities and 2,200 nonfatal traffic injuries involving underage drinking and driving.

-- In 2006, it is estimated that there were 21 homicides, 17,700 nonfatal violent crimes such as rape, robbery, and assault and 50,200 property crimes including burglary, larceny, and car theft perpetrated by underage drinkers.

-- In 2006, it is estimated that there were 12 fatalities from burns, drowning, and suicide involving underage drinking.

-- In 2006, an estimated 2,500 teen pregnancies and 11,500 risky sexual acts by teens involved the use of alcohol.

This all from a substance that is illegal for those under the age 21 and that is regulated.