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Teen Drunk Driving Declines in the United States


Sadly, car accidents happen every day. For one reason or another a person is distracted behind the wheel, or their car malfunctions, or there is a dog in their lane and they swerve, the possibilities are endless and because of that people are injured or killed on a daily basis. Drunk driving is another common life changer for those on the road, and when a person gets behind the wheel drunk they are not only putting themselves at risk, but they are also placing every other person on the road in harm’s way as well.

The United States government takes drunk driving very seriously, and has been creating country wide campaigns in order to promote safe driving. While each state has their own specific laws on where the legal blood alcohol concentration levels are, almost every state holds a zero tolerance policy for underage drinkers who are caught behind the wheel. Teenagers who are pulled over with any hint of alcohol in their body are considered to be in violation of multiple laws, the physical consumption of alcohol as well as drunk driving.

Even though drunk driving accidents are still consuming our nightly news casts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares that underage drunk driving has been on a consistent decline over the past two decades. According to their reports with the help of the zero tolerance as well as closer parental involvement in the schools and in their own homes the numbers have declined 54% since 1991 statistics of underage drinkers. The CDC has discovered that there are now 9 out of 10 teenage drivers who do not drink and then drive. They conducted tests at high schools for students 16 and older and they asked whether or not they had driven a vehicle while under the influence within the past month, and the majority said no country wide.

It is believed that the parental involvement in the lives of the children plays a significant role to the decisions that the children make when choosing to consume alcohol still under the legal age. With parents helping train their children, and there being so many growing school programs the country has seen a lot of change. Not only that, but law enforcement has become much stricter when it comes to places selling alcohol to minors under the age of 21, and with the tightening of the rules, less have been able to get their hands on it.

There is a down side to the studies that the CDC conducted, however. They also discovered that within the bracket of high school students who do say they drink and drink also admitted to binge drinking before they got behind the wheel. This means that they were consuming at least 5 drinks that night, and they were very drunk at the point of driving. Still, there are around 2.4 million occasions per month in which a teenager gets in the driver’s seat while intoxicated and this produces a very dangerous environment on the road.

Often times these decisions point back to the parents, again whose influence is the biggest contributing factor to how a teenager views the act of drunk driving. The CDC reports that within their studies 74% of the students who drink and drive claim that they are influenced by their parent’s decisions and their consumption of alcohol. While the kids may not be getting behind the wheel with the intention to harm others, accidents do happen and lives are taken. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an accident, contact McGee | Lerer & Associates today to discuss your case. We have years of legal experience, and we want to help you and your family receive the compensation you deserve.