YOUR teenage son or daughter comes to you asking whether they can take alcohol to a party, claiming all their friends drink underage and they will be left out if they don't.
New research from the University of Wollongong's Centre for Health Initiatives has proven this is unlikely to be the case.
Gerringong resident and UOW Professor Sandra Jones said only 29 per cent of 16-year-olds were regular drinkers and just 10 per cent of parents supported it.
More than 1000 people from throughout the Kiama area took part in the latest investigation into attitudes on underage drinking.
Launching the intervention phase of the Kiama Underage Drinking Project at the Sebel Harbourside, she said underage drinking came with real risks, including impaired brain development, lower academic and career achievement and risky behaviour.
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione lent his support to the project, saying it was an opportunity to try some new things.
"People often ask, 'why do you put so much time into investing in youth?' and I say, 'tell me the most powerful person in the world, one day they were a young person', so it's important we do this," he said.
"The evidence shows that young teens who drink under their parents' supervision drink more overall than their peers and are a third more likely to experience alcohol-related consequences like fighting, right through to blackouts."
The intervention will run until the end of next year, including community forums, programs in schools and posters saying "Kiama community doesn't support underage drinking" and "Bad things happen to good kids too". Organisations and businesses can also order personalised posters.
To find out more visit stopunderagedrinking.com.au.