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If a person who is under age 21 dies from drinking too much alcohol, who is most responsible?

Response Percent Votes
The person doing the drinking
78% 1443
The person who served or sold the alcohol
10% 194
The person who owns the location where the person is drinking
3% 55
The people with whom the person is drinking
2% 52
The person’s parents
2% 43
2% 42
Total 1829


Maddy Griffin 8 years, 3 months ago

My heart goes out to the parents for their loss, but how can you sue the University for your son exercising poor judgment? I know peer pressure is a b!&*h but come on!

nbnozzy 8 years, 3 months ago

You summed up my sentiments exactly grammaddy.

shicks44 8 years, 3 months ago

I voted the unpopular answer of people WITH the drinker only from my mother's heart.... I have a 19-year-old son with Asperger Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder and thankfully he's in a program and surrounded with people caring for him 24/7. Individual situations are as diverse as snowflakes and we are - truly - our brother's/sister's keepers, or at least most folk I know aspire to be. This is a tragic event and my heart goes out to the parents also - but it's a wake up call - we need to be aware of what's going on and care for the people right beside us. Group responsibility kicks in at some point - I can't help but feel this way...

Liberty275 8 years, 3 months ago


If the person is 15, it's the fault of the person that supplies the alcohol. If the person is 17 or older, it's there own fault.

If you are adult enough to join the military at 17, then you are adult enough to make decisions regarding whether and how much you should be drinking.

You should also be able to vote at 17.

plivanec 8 years, 3 months ago

It's a very sad situation, but once you leave your parents house, you are responsible for your own life. You have to learn how to handle the peer pressures that arise...especially if you are going to join a frat...which are notorius for drinking.

yankeevet 8 years, 3 months ago

Just a way for the parents too get money; or try and get money.............their kid screwed up.........move on.........

Kirk Larson 8 years, 3 months ago

I had to give my vote to the parents since they should have taught him about alcohol and about resisting peer pressure, which is indeed a b!&*h.

purplesage 8 years, 3 months ago

More answers than ususal to choose - but not enough. How about an "all of the above" or a society that continues to tolerate and endorse the consumption of alcohol as some kind of rite of passage? Put all the celebrities and former athletic stars who do the commercials, the TV programs and ads that make it look glamorous and grown up on the list, too. 21 is no magic line in the sand. The legal system treats a kid very differenty before and after that milestone - but it really changes nothing.

verity 8 years, 3 months ago

Porch agreed with Con1???

I'm going to have to rethink my whole life.

1029 8 years, 3 months ago

I think society in general is to blame. We tell kids who go off to college that if they have no friends or wingmen that they can essentially buy some by joining a fraternity, but then the fraternity brothers aren't real friends and they don't look out for you. I think the people at the alcohol company should be blamed a little, too. In Wren's case I think he was drinking Jack Daniels, so the state of Tennessee is partially to blame too. Maybe AG Six can go after TN somehow.

seriouscat 8 years, 3 months ago

Personal responsibility doesn't end at the tip of one's nose. The very nature of partying and socializing is that it occurs in a group. Is it really asking too much of any social group to take some responsibility for all of its members and to take some action to help someone who has had too much to drink? How the heck is a person who is passed out alone in a room supposed to practice 'personal responsibility' and get themselves to a hospital?

The guys at the frat house didn't want to get busted for underage drinking and so they stuck him in his room to sleep it off, cried crocodile tears when he died, and went straight back to their 'animal house' ways without another thought.

But it's all his and his parents fault? Wow.

Mary Darst 8 years, 3 months ago

it is such a sad situation when this happens. I have given this question great thought this a.m. In the end, I believe it was the individuals responsibility to make a better choice. If I were a parent I would maybe look at it different. I would want to have someone else to blame, so I wouldn't have to hold all the blame on the one I just lost. This was an accident, I'm sure the kid did not do this on purpose. He made the choice. The law says that if your are 21 years old and provide minors with alcohol, you are responsible. So,that is who is responsible by law. I was young once and loved to party. I have probably been that drunk before myself. I don't drink much now. Smarter I guess, and the day after, is a much more important day for me now. With age and hindsight, I have come to realize how much sadness and heartache alcohol can bring into families homes. Kids are fearless and are not mature enough to get all that. I hope this incident will get their attention.

parrothead8 8 years, 3 months ago

Throughout their lives, our children see images on TV and at the movies, and hear stories from their friends, about all the good times that can be had while drinking.

We send them off to college at age 18. Alone. On their own for the first time. And we tell them not to touch booze until they're 21. Ridiculous.

If our drinking age was younger, and Americans learned to drink in a responsible environment (hopefully in a responsible, parental home environment), then I bet we'd have fewer drinking-related deaths in this country.

But hey, as long as marijuana is illegal, we're safe.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 3 months ago

Incidents like this should make us all question our society and laws which push us to drinking.

domino 8 years, 3 months ago

Lots of gray areas in this question - & in the answers. In response to charliejohnson's comment about possibly feeling different if a parent - I am a parent and although I have never gone thru the death of a child such as this, I have gone thru my kids making poor choices. I know I taught them better but that doesn't mean in every situation, they are going to use good sense. My son ended up spending a couple weeks in jail after being pulled over for a minor infraction and had a weed pipe laying on the seat. My husband & I let him sit his butt in jail - he didn't have the $$ to pay for an attorney, so ended up with a court appointed which he then had to pay off. He did his time, paid his fines, did his community service work and hopefully learned something from it. I went to see him once during those 2 weeks and he told me not to come back - not that he didn't want to see me, but he didn't want me to see him in jail - told me later he was embarrased being there and didn't want me to see him there. Probably was a good life lesson for him.

As parents, we have to do our best to raise our children right, but the time comes that they go out on their own and have to be responsible for the choices they make. Those are sometimes very hard lessons to learn and as parents it is hard to watch them go thru some of these things, but I feel like you have to let them struggle thru some things on their own. It's tough, but nobody every said parenting was easy.

remember_username 8 years, 3 months ago

Terrible question. My knee jerk response was with the majority. A person is responsible for their own behavior, although there are other considerations. Under 21 has a wide age range and there is a considerable difference between a 20 year old and a 10 year old. Thus, the question being considered at what age does a person become responsible for their own behavior?

Some have pointed out that a person can serve in the armed forces at 17, but I think that requires a guardian or courts permission to enlist. I would say that once you're through indoctrination and serving in the armed forces you should be accepted as an adult with full (21yr old) privileges. If you're in the military and you're a guest at my house you're allowed alcohol.

Since we routinely charge criminals under 18 as adults and the age of consent for sexual activity is usually 16 in the U.S. I'd say that drops the age of responsibility to 16. Under 16, it's the person serving or providing the intoxicant, older than that and you're responsible for both drinking and hanging around with the kind of people who will let you die.

vforvigilante 8 years, 3 months ago

One choice that this poll doesn't provide you with, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the rest of these way too powerful nosy mom lobby groups that fundraise and buy whatever legislation they want to. Thanks to them, they bought a new drinking age in 1984, one that has no scientific or rational merit whatsoever. What IT HAS done is create a black market amongst LEGAL, VOTING, TAX PAYING, DRAFTABLE ADULTS under the age of 21, adults who don't know how to drink responsibly, because they were never allowed anywhere near alcohol, and consequently become binge drinkers the second they turn 21.

Liberty275 8 years, 3 months ago

"At 18, one can vote, get killed in the armed forces"

I was in boot camp the month after I turned 17 and stationed 100 miles from the iron curtain 6 months later. I could also legally buy alcohol anywhere in the US with my military ID from the moment I received it.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years, 3 months ago

Evidently, the most "responsible" person wasn't nearby.

(... not even some of the more responsible persons.)

Randall Barnes 8 years, 3 months ago


jaywalker 8 years, 3 months ago

To the question:

The person that designed the label for the bottle and/or can and the first person to see them take a drink.

The individual is responsible. Gettin' sick of this @#@#$

michael6076 8 years, 3 months ago

I agree with "All of the Above." Sure, the drinker should exercise good judgement, but the people around the drinker should also be using good judgement,too. Most undergraduates are under 21, so why is alcohol permitted at the Frat houses? --Why do the Greek organizations seem to continually get a "free pass"? "Under 21" people are less able to resist peer pressure that those of us that have been around the block! Parents need to do a better job of directing and parenting their children! Universities need to eliminate those institutions that are contributing to non-academic behavior. Remember, you are only in college a short time! --You will have lots of weekends to party (legally) after you graduate!

Jersey_Girl 8 years, 3 months ago

I am of the opinion that 3.2 beer should be legal at 18, everything else at 21. It's hard to overindulge on 3.2 beer and it allows the 18 - 21 crowd something. Beyond that, if they are drinking illegally, they have made the conscious decision to do so and therefore responsible for their own actions. The people supplying the alcohol illegally are only liable for that, not how much is consumed.

Steve_M 7 years, 10 months ago

If a person is old enough to buy alcohol, then it's on them.

When a person under 21 breaks the law and dies from drinking alcohol, they have paid the ultimate price for their actions.

according to many of you on this board- the person(s) that ALSO broke the law buy providing the alcohol should not have any accountability for their actions.

gee maybe ADULTS should stop providing alcohol to people not legally old enough to purchase it and we wouldnt have any alcohol related deaths for anyone under the age of 21. At the end of the day- underage drinking can only happen due to an irresponsible or careless ADULT.

There are reasons people under 21 are not allowed to purchase and drink alcohol, it's been proven over and over again their brains are not developed enough to handle it.

btw- i dont think people under 21 should be able to go fight in the war either.
but it's not against the law!!

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