Alarming Facts to Make Your Teen Think Twice About Driving Drunk
Far too many parents and siblings lost a loved one because of teenage drunk driving. And as devastating as these tragedies are, the worst part is that they could have been prevented.
Everybody knows that it’s a bad idea to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol – even teenagers. Still, many teens continue to drink and drive, primarily because they are not fully aware of the consequences of underage drinking and driving while intoxicated.
A DUI arrest carries serious consequences, especially for teenagers. The legal penalties of underage DUI can include fines, probation, community service, driver’s license suspension, mandatory DUI school, ignition interlock installation, and even jail time. Even more concerning than the legal repercussions of DUI, though, is the number of young lives it takes each year.
Awareness can save lives. As parents and guardians, you can help reduce DUI-related accidents by educating your teenagers early on not to drink and drive or get in a car with someone who has been drinking. Else, they might become yet another statistic.
These alarming DUI facts should help convince your teenagers not to drink and drive.
#1. In the United States, around 28 people die every day due to a case of DUI or driving under the influence. That’s essentially one person getting killed every 51 minutes because of a drunk driver.
#2. The injuries caused by drunk driving is just as alarming as it’s death rate. A drunk driver injures someone every 120 seconds.
#3. Alcohol is involved in more or less 40% of all fatal car crashes and is the number one killer of people in their teenage years.
#4. Eight teens die daily due to DUI car crashes.
#5. Drunk driving is responsible for almost half (46%) of all vehicular accidents that lead to the death of a teenager.
#6. Vehicular accidents are not the only risks involved in drunk driving. Those who drive under the influence can get arrested for a DUI.
#7. The mandatory minimum penalty for drunk driving can range from license suspension and DUI classes to jail time, depending on the level of intoxication and the circumstances surrounding the arrest.
#8. A DUI charge can be a huge financial burden. The average cost of a first-time DUI in the United States is $10,000. This includes fines, penalties, DUI classes, auto insurance increase, and other fines related to the arrest.
#9. A DUI on your record can hurt your chances of landing a job in the future.
#10. When you drive under the influence, it’s not just your life on the line. You’re putting the lives of innocent people in danger, too.
Preventing underage drinking can help reduce the risk of teenage drunk driving.
Research shows that about 80% of high school kids have tried alcohol. By the time they get their license, your children could be drinking already.
Most teenagers are too young to understand the consequences of alcohol consumption – how it affects the brain, their decision making, and their motor skills. This is why it’s so important for parents, teachers, and other family members to talk to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking as early as possible and to have this conversation often at home.
Talking about this stuff can be awkward or even uncomfortable, but it’s information that can potentially save their lives. Instilling in your children an awareness of the dangers of alcohol may keep them from drinking or at least make them think twice about driving drunk/getting into a vehicle with someone who’s had a drink.
Parents, walk the talk.
As parents, you have to set an example for your kids. Teenagers are still at an age where they need plenty of guidance – and good role models. That being said, the responsibility of preventing teenage drunk driving also falls on your shoulders.
Children tend to follow the actions of adults. If you want your kids to not drink and drive, it may not be enough to just tell or remind them. You have to be someone who does not get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. The example you set today could lay the groundwork for the smart decisions that your kids will make later on in life.
About the Author
Lauren McDowell is the Content Marketing Strategist for Interlock Install, a Phoenix-based company that performs the installations, service appointments, and removals for ADS Interlock. When not writing, she attends book clubs and enjoys reading stories to her kids.
We will be adding more educational articles soon. Be on the look out!