As National Teen Driver Safety Week winds down, it is important to address a topic some people don’t consider: drinking and driving among teenagers. The legal age to buy and consume liquor is 21 years old. That does not stop teens from underage drinking. Because of that, drinking and driving among teenagers is a big issue.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teens are more likely than anyone else to be killed in an alcohol-related crash. In 2015, almost one out of five teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking. Even though the minimum legal drinking age in every State is 21, data shows 16 percent of 15- to 18-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2015 had been drinking. Drugs other than alcohol – illicit as well as prescribed and over-the-counter – can affect your teen’s driving. Be sure you and your teen talk about driving and drug use, too.
Since these teens are not able to legally buy the alcohol, someone is providing it to them. This is where parents come into the equation. Some parents feel it is alright to give alcohol to their children. That is why drinking and driving among teens needs to be addressed with parents too.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said, parents who supply alcohol to any teen—or help any minor possess or consume alcohol—face jail time, loss of a driver’s license, and serious fines. Remember: For those under 21, the BAC limit is not .08—it is zero.
Maybe knowing that they could face jail time also for providing to a minor will deter some parents? We can only hope, as drinking and driving among teens needs to stop.
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