Alcohol-Related Scenes in Movies Could Contribute to Underage DUI

A new study finds that more teenagers are being exposed to scenes involving alcohol consumption in the movies, and this could possibly affect their alcohol-related behaviors in real life. That means an increased risk of undesirable drinking practices, including excessive drinking, and even DUI.

The findings came from new research published in JAMA Pediatrics, and found that while American teenagers are being exposed to fewer scenes involving tobacco scenes in the movies nowadays, they are more likely to be exposed to scenes that show alcohol consumption. While showing people smoking cigarettes is frowned upon, the same attitude doesn't seem to be prevalent when it comes to drinking on screen. That means that many impressionable teenagers are seeing glamorous movie stars downing a few drinks, and seeming perfectly normal and sober after.

According to the study authors, since regulations that restrict the depiction of people smoking on screen went into effect, there has been a reduction in such scenes in the movies. However, there are no such regulations on scenes that show people drinking alcohol. Alcohol must also be considered a product that can possibly harm teenagers and adults, because teen minds are very impressionable.

Earlier studies have indicated that movie scenes that show characters smoking and drinking do lead to drinking and smoking at a much younger age among children. Back in 2012, a study that was conducted in six European countries found that teenagers who watch more alcohol-related scenes in the movies are much more likely to drink excessively or binge. However, the study wasn’t able to confirm whether these destructive alcohol-related behaviors among teenagers were triggered before after they watched these scenes in the movies. This is again a gray area of research, and more studies need to be done to understand if exposure to such scenes could increase DUI risks.