Southern California springtime brings with it beautiful weather, blooming flowers, high school proms and graduation celebrations. There is the potential for young adults to drink alcohol in celebration even though it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to ingest an alcoholic beverage. These teens are inexperienced drinkers. Often, they do not understand how their bodies react to alcohol consumption, how it slows motor function, and how it makes them easily distracted and more likely to make choices they would not normally make if they were sober.
In addition to being inexperienced drinkers, they are also inexperienced drivers. Adding alcohol to the mix can lead to car accidents, bodily injury, property damage, the loss of their driving privileges, driving under the influence charges with fines, fees and a criminal record, and worse, possibly deadly consequences for the driver, the passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers.
Often teens feel invincible not believing bad things will happen to them. This is dangerous thinking in the realm of drinking and driving. There may be peer pressure to drive after drinking or to ride in a car with someone after they have had alcohol.
USA Today and MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) warn of the dangers. MADD reports the leading cause of death for teens is car accidents. Of those accidents, 1/3 are alleged to involve alcohol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims teenage DUI’s are down 54% since 1991, but almost one million teenagers reported drinking alcohol and then driving in 2011.
The best thing you can do as a parent is educate your young adult children of the dangers of drinking and driving. Encourage them to call you anytime for a ride without questions. Let them know they can be seriously injured or killed as a passenger in a car that is driven by another young adult who is under the influence.
One bad choice made while under the influence can change not only the teen’s life, but the lives of those around them.
Happy spring, prom and graduation time! Make it a safe one!
But, if you happen to get arrested for drunk driving and you are under 21 years old, you owe it to yourself to hire a criminal defense attorney that exclusively deals with drunk driving matters. Do not just plead guilty! A criminal conviction can affect your life long after the incident occurred. Find out your rights and protect yourself.
Call The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman at 619-260-1122 or use the “Contact Us” form on this page. We offer a free, confidential phone consultation, so you can learn about the process and your options with no obligation.