According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive consumption of alcohol is responsible for over 4,300 deaths of underage minors each year. Although it is against the law, adolescents ages 12 to 20 drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States, and more than 90 percent of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinking. Because many teens are concerned with disappointing their parents, many will get behind the wheel after a few drinks in an effort to avoid parental punishment. Not only is this a danger to the community, but it may also lead to a teen DUI.

The start of the summer season is also the 100 deadliest days for teenage drivers. According to a report by AAA, the number of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents typically jumps 15 percent during this time. Many times distracted driving is the cause of these crashes. However, graduation parties and summer kick-off barbecues involving underage drinking make this time even more hazardous for teens.

 

Effects of Underage Drinking

If the drunk driving statistics were not enough to become concerned, the effects of underage drinking are also disturbing. Studies show underage drinking may take teens on a dark path, risking the success of their academics, and increasing the likelihood of beginning drug and tobacco use. Health risks range from hangovers to even death via alcohol poisoning, suicide, or traffic accidents. Many of these drinking and driving crashes involve severe injuries for passengers including head injuries, paralysis, or death. Drinking and driving may also lead to a DUI arrest which results in your license being revoked, no longer allowing you to drive. The weight of a lost friend because of drunk driving is devastating and should be enough to ward teens away, nonetheless at this age, these adolescents believe they are nearly invincible and it is difficult to warn them of these risks.

 

5 Tips for Parents to Prevent Teen Drinking and Driving

As a parent, you are responsible for the safety of your children. While you may think your child may never drink and drive, it is better to be proactive and avoid a DUI while there is still time. Take a look at five tips for preventing teen drinking and driving.

  1. Set clear rules for drinking  Teens with parents who are more “hands-on” with clear expectations are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drinking and driving and getting a DUI. It is okay to be strict in this situation and always stress to NEVER drink and drive.
  2. Form an alliance with other parents – Because they are underage, much of teen drinking takes place in a home. Be sure to communicate with other parents about the importance of supervision and not driving while intoxicated.
  3. Prepare for special occasions  Prom and graduation are times of celebration for teens, and the pressure to drink is extreme. For these occasions, you could work with the school to set up a “safe rides” system to ensure every teen makes it home. Help to designate a sober driver like a sibling or younger classmate.
  4. Create a secret code with your teen – Teenagers are nearly always concerned with what their friends think. Instead of making them call you and ask for a ride, create a code only the family knows to help them save face and let you come to the rescue.
  5. Talk with your child – Have complete, open communication between you and your teen when it comes to underage drinking. Let them know it is okay to come to you when they need help. Come up with responses for peer pressure to avoid drunk driving and a DUI. Do not avoid the subject because you are afraid, talk about it frequently.

 

What to Do If You’re Involved in a Drunk Driving Accident

Immediately following a drunk driving crash, ensure the safety of all the passengers involved. If necessary, call for emergency medical assistance. Once everyone is safe and accounted for, dial 911 to report the accident. While you should cooperate with law enforcement, avoid making statements at the scene about the accident or to witnesses or victims. You are most likely in a state of shock. Make clear-headed statements once you have had time to recover. Take photos of the accident and gather names and information from those involved and witnesses. Finally, if you are involved in a drunk driving accident, contacting a personal injury lawyer may be a good idea.

 

As much as we can prepare ourselves and our families to drive safely and avoid a DUI, drunk driving accidents still occur. If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered from wrongful death as the result of a drunk driver, you are not alone. As drunk driving accident lawyersBrindisi, Murad, Brindisi and Pearlman are prepared to fight for you. What happened to you is not fair and you deserve to be compensated. Contact our office for a free consultation today.

 

 

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