Underage drinking is a major concern in the United States. Underage drinking is not only illegal, it’s also a major safety concern. In the United States, one out of three fatal car accidents is caused by a drunk driver between the age of 16-20.
Underage drunk driving has become an increasingly serious safety concern because it ultimately results in a drunk underage person taking the wheel.
Why Are Teens at Risk of Drunk Driving?
Underage drinkers are at an increased risk of drunk driving. Teen drinkers consume alcohol on a less frequent basis than adults but are more inclined to binge drink. Twelve to twenty-year-olds are responsible for more than 10% of alcohol consumption in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 50% of high school students drive under the influence of alcohol. These drivers are more likely to cause a fatal car crash. Studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) show that fatal crashes from people aged 16-20 are on the rise.
There are currently more than 4,300 deaths caused by underage drinking annually. Since 2015, fatal crashes by this demographic have increased by nearly 4%. Nearly one-third of these fatal crashes involve alcohol.
How Can Teen Drinking and Driving Be Prevented?
Research shows that the following measures have been successful in reducing cases of teen drinking and driving in the country. They are:
- Minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) – Refers to laws in every state that prohibit the selling of alcohol to persons under 21. They are enforced through alcohol retailer compliance checks and have mitigated teenage drinking.
- Graduated driver licensing (GDL) – These systems help teenagers gain gradual driving experience under less risky conditions. They move through states gaining privileges such as driving with passengers.
- Zero tolerance – These are laws that make it illegal for persons under the age of 21 to drive after taking any alcohol. They are useful in reducing alcohol-related collisions.
- Parental involvement – This involves parents monitoring what teenagers are allowed to do when they drive. It is one of the most effective ways to encourage teenage road responsibility.
How Can Parents Help Fight Teen Drunk Driving?
Underage drunk driving continues to be a problem, but safer behavior can be modeled by parents. Not having booze in the house or locking it up can be a solution to underage drinking. 
Children need to be informed through regular conversations regarding the dangers of alcohol. Regular conversations about the dangers and consequences for teens may be enough to prevent drinking.
Stay in touch with your child and their friends’ parents. Adults can be held responsible for an intoxicated minor if they’re caught drinking. Driving drunk is never safe or acceptable. Rideshare services are available all hours of the day to make sure no one ever has to drive drunk.
Legal Penalties of Underage Drinking and Driving
Most DUI citations result in the loss of a driver’s license, fines, mandatory alcohol education, and probation. In the event of a fatality, some teenagers may even face jail time for their first offense. In essence, the older the teenager, the more severe the repercussions of drinking and driving.
Long term impacts of an underage DUI on a permanent record include:
- Expulsion from school
- Difficulties securing college placement
- Trouble finding a job
DUIs may get expunged from a teenager’s permanent record. Unfortunately, this is not always possible and may require aggressive legal representation from a Tucson Underage drunk driving attorney.
If your teenage child has been involved in a DUI, talk to a Tucson Car Accident Attorney about your legal options and how to pursue them.
Get the Advice You Need from a DUI Attorney
Here at Karnas Law Firm, we want our clients to make the wise decision to always travel sober. If you’re in a collision with a drunk driver, call us anytime. If you’ve suffered from a car accident, you don’t need to go through the aftermath of that accident alone. Reach out to our proven and trusted car accident attorneys today.
The car accident lawyers at Karnas Law Firm have more than 25 years of experience representing injured accident victims in Arizona. Our team can lift the burden of settling a personal injury claim from your shoulders and relentlessly fight for fair compensation.
We are available in Tucson at (520) 338-1641 or at our Yuma location at (928) 550-8020. You can also email Olivia Gaxiola at email@example.com to set up an appointment
Our attorneys are known as some of the top lawyers in the business and have received accolades such as Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Lawyers and Top 100 Trial Lawyers. We are also Lead Counsel rated.
To get started on your case, contact us today for a free case evaluation. We look forward to talking to you soon.
 “Underage Drinking Statistics: United States.” Edgarsnyder.com, https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/who-was-injured/teen/underage-drinking-statistics.html.
 Rivera, Jose. “Underage Drinking Accident Statistics.” LegalMatch Law Library, 25 June 2018, https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/underage-drinking-accident-statistics.html.
 Sobering Up AdministratorSobering Up: A blog about drunk driving, et al. “The Sobering Statistics of Underage Drunk Driving.” Sobering Up, 12 Nov. 2018, https://www.scramsystems.com/blog/2018/02/sobering-statistics-underage-drunk-driving/.