Zero Tolerance for Underage Drinking or Possession of Alcohol
by David J. Hanson, Ph.D.
Zero tolerance for underage drinking or possession of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine or distilled spirits) is currently a popular policy. However, it appears that the well-intentioned practice may be ineffective or even counterproductive. For example, a study by the Indiana Education Policy Center at Indiana University led to the researcher’s conclusion that “zero tolerance is a political response, not an educationally sound solution.”
Popularity of a program or practice does not demonstrate effectiveness. In fact, clearly ineffective programs such as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program continue to receive strong public support.
An overview of zero tolerance practices and evidence of their effectiveness is found at Zero Tolerance.
Additional information about zero tolerance is provided on these pages:
- Zero Tolerance at Princeton University
- Counterproductive and Dangerous Alcohol Policy
- Zero Tolerance, Zero Evidence
- Reducing Alcohol Abuse among Students
- (More on) Zero Tolerance
- Getting Tough on Underage Drinking
- Rethinking Alcohol Use by the Emerging Adult
- Promoting Marijuana Use?
- Legal Drinking Punished
- Gateway and Steppingstone Hypotheses
- Zero Tolerance and the “Underage Drinking Epidemic”
- Schizophrenic Campuses
- Parental Rights Threatened
- College “Binge Drinking” Drops
- Harm Reduction Works for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- Spanking and Later Alcohol Abuse
- Prohibition Fails in Iran
- Jail for Alcohol Possession