Hmm, my experience with alcohol is more from the "European Model", if that makes sense. I come from a family of responsible drinkers, and they're also from the tradition where you introduce your child to a small "finger dip" champagne on holidays. Like, when they're 15, 17, something like that.
It was like that for me. I had the finger dip when I was 15, and only during holidays (mainly Christmas), I could have a small, very small glass, of champagne. So when I turned 21, I didn't really feel this overwhelming need to binge drink or go crazy with spending money on booze.
Never seen any family members drunk, and I've never been drunk. I have been tipsy, and that was because I found out I couldn't handle harder booze.
Now, if and when someone asks if we want to go to a bar, I say yes, but I get like 1-2 drinks minimum of the same thing. I'm not going to be a big drinker. I've tried different types of booze, and I've found what I've like. I can't do too many hard liquors because they're too "earthy" Vodka's ok, but it has be a small amount in a mixed drink. Beer's alright, but compared to champagne, it's not sweet enough. So, I stick mostly to meads, champagne, and other sweeter drinks.
I think what made it different for me was that while my mother did allow some sips here and there, she was also adamant in the safe drinking. We had dialogue about it, and she helped me understand the importance of it. Even when I had these small amounts, I didn't really feel like drinking more. I took that small amount and then I switched over to my juice for the rest of that holiday dinner.
Of course, the "European Model" can have its flaws, and I think I was lucky to have family that were responsible drinkers and gave me a good example.