Underage DUI is an increasingly frightening problem in our country. Vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death among people 15 to 20 years old. Statistics show that younger drivers’ driving patterns are responsible for more accidents than people with more experience, driving. In 2005, there were 7,400 deaths in this age group. It was found that 28% of those deaths were because of underage DUI. Minors that drink and drive increase the likelihood of being arrested for DUI or DUI related offense because minors are subjected to more driving restrictions.
UNDERAGE DRINKING EQUALS UNDERAGE DUI
Underage drinking statistics paint a grim picture of how alcohol is affecting our youth. There is no question that the high rate of underage driving under the influence is a direct result of underage drinking. In 2005, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 41% of kids have consumed alcohol before 8th grade – and that number increases to 75% by the time they graduate high school. Moreover, 19% of kids between the ages of 15 and 20 reported that they engage in “binge” drinking. Binge drinking is drinking with the sole intention of becoming extremely intoxicated by purposefully over-consuming alcohol in a short period of time.
The societal problem of underage drinking is far from isolated. Underage DUI statistics show that almost 30% of high school students nationwide had been in a passenger in a car where they knew the driver to be intoxicated. Underage DUI deaths are also impacted by the fact that teenagers are less likely to wear their seat belts – nearly 75% of teenagers involved in fatal underage DUI accidents were unrestrained at the point of impact.
CONSEQUENCES OF UNDERAGE DUI
In many states, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to have a BAC greater than .02%. Some states have a zero tolerance law, making it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to have any alcohol in your system. In some states, the penalties for underage driving under the influence can be more severe than an adult getting a straight DUI! If you or your children have been arrested for underage DUI – consult with a DUI attorney immediately! Underage DUI offenders can expect to pay thousands in fines (not including vehicle impoundment), months of community service, revocation of driving privileges for a year or more, and strict supervised probation. In addition, the underage DUI offender may have to disclose his/her conviction on college applications and work applications -which could harm their chances at college enrolment or employment.
Speak with an attorney that specializes in underage DUI about your defense strategies and what you can do to fight your underage DUI arrest.