By Philip Fine

After pressure from the licensed beverage industry, America's National
Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) has admitted it overestimated its figures on underage drinkers.

CASA had released a report stating that underage people drink 25% of the beverage alcohol consumed in the US. The figure, part of their findings in a study called Teen Tipplers: America's Underage Drinking Epidemic, was challenged by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) as false and as an attempt to overstate the incidents of underage drinking.

CASA said the cause of the oversight lay in the fact that the National Household Drug Survey data they used as their source had "over sampled" young people. If this is adjusted to accurately reflect the population, the percentage is 11.4%, CASA admitted.

Among the study's recommendations were higher excise taxes for beverage alcohol, a government ban on beverage alcohol television advertising, and categorisation of beverage alcohol as a drug.