KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's been two years since a booze filled night among teens left Daisy Coleman unconscious in freezing temperatures outside her home. Now, 19-year-old Matthew Barnett will spend the next two years on probation.
Experts now speak out to warn of the dangers of teenage drinking and risky behavior.
As if parents aren't worried enough about what their teenagers are doing on weekend nights, new studies show drinking, starting at a young age, is more prevalent than ever.
"It's everywhere. You see it on TV. You hear it in music, so it's everywhere. I mean the thing we've got to realize is that the world's changed. Kids are growing up faster than ever before," said Gordon Stubblefield, Director of Prevention Services for First Call.
According to the CDC, a 2011 youth risk behavior survey found that nearly 40 percent of high school students drank some alcohol during the past 30 days and 22 percent binge drank.
"We could talk about the increase in violence. We could talk about the increase in risky sexual behaviors. We could talk about the increase in addiction," said Stubblefield.
In the case of Maryville teenagers Coleman and Barnett, in interviews with investigators, both admitted to drinking before and after meeting up.
Coleman told investigators while in Barnett's home, she drank vodka straight from the bottle before being challenged to drink more from a cup and then blacking out. Later at the hospital, court documents show that her recorded blood alcohol content as a .13. An adult is legally drunk at .08.
Barnett told investigators he was "buzzed." When Coleman was asked if Barnett could have been under the impression that the sexual contact could have been consensual, she told investigators, "He was drinking too, so, yeah, he could have."
Experts say it's cases just like this they see on a regular basis.
"What we see here is basically a lot of kids who think nothing bad can happen to them when they drink. And so they feel like, you know, they are invincible or bullet proof," Stubblefield said. "And then when they do step into that realm where they are drinking, bad things happen. Mistakes are made. Some you can come back from. Some you can't."
COVERSA is a metro non-profit that conducts rape kits for sexual assault victims in 23 counties. Last year they assisted 23 girls under the age of 17 who reported being sexually assaulted. Thirty five percent of those young women had voluntarily consumed alcohol before the alleged assault took place.