Teenage drunk driving is a deadly combination on the road. Most teenagers lack the professional experience behind the wheel, making them already prone to crashes. Adding alcohol in the mix only worsens the situation, leading to sobering statistics related to underage drinking.
Teenagers driving under the influence are unfortunate realities. There’s no use denying the fact that a number of underage drivers find themselves intoxicated while maneuvering the wheel. In a 2011 national survey, 24% of teens admit to riding with peers under the influence.
Across the country, people aged 15 can already obtain their licenses. While the law prohibits minors from purchasing alcohol until age 21, these youthful drivers contribute to shocking DUI statistics in the US.
Statistics concerning underage DUI
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of high school students who drink and drive decreased drastically since 1991. However, nearly a million of teens drove under the influence in 2011. The CDC also adds that young drivers (ages 16-20) are more susceptible to fatal crashes when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08%.
Teen drivers are more likely to experience fatal car crashes compared to experienced drivers due to their lack of experience. As rookies behind the wheel, teens are more prone to accidents, especially when they drive drunk.
Legal penalties of underage DUI cases
Convicted underage drivers will have their driver’s licenses suspended for a year or more. Underage drinking drivers also face fines that range from a hundred to a thousand dollars. Young drivers may also have to attend driver’s education classes while completing their community service.
Jail time depends on the state law and specific case facts. For a first offense, underage driver may face 24 hours to a year of jail time plus a probationary period of three to five years.
Detrimental effects in education and career outlook
DUI convictions take their toll on any teen’s educational and career outlook. The resulting conviction should be disclosed when applying for college, jobs, and other requests for financial aid. Failure to report will lead to loss of rights and perjury.
Responsibility plays a vital role in saving a life. Drinking underage is both deadly and illegal. There are a whole host of consequences that don’t even include car crashes. CarsforMadd supports efforts to maintain the 21 Minimum Drinking Age and save young lives as a result. To learn more about our cause, browse through our site and extend a hand.