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Young voices: Raise fines for underage drinking in Pennsylvania

November 12, 2010

By Ashlynn Cannata, Fort LeBoeuf High School

The tougher drinking laws that are being considered by officials from Pennsylvania are an excellent idea. It seems to me that underage drinking is a problem that is only getting worse, and I’m not the only one noticing this trend.

Many homeowners living near campuses are becoming worried about this drunken behavior, too. Unless someone steps in to increase the consequences for these behaviors, they are just going to continue to escalate. If the penalties for underage drinking and public drunkenness haven’t changed since the 1970s, how can anyone expect this problem to get better, let alone solve itself?

Currently, underage drinking fines range from $300 to $500. You can be fined up to $300 for littering, a less serious offense than underage drinking. So, why would someone who was caught drinking underage potentially pay the say amount as someone who littered?

Underage drinking is a serious offense and should be treated as such. According to reports, some have been charged and paid the current fine, only to return to their bad behavior later. If the fine reached $1,000, it would significantly deter individuals from repeating their crime.