While they are certainly not the only age group to drink and drive, only about 1 in 10 teenagers do get behind the wheel after drinking, they are the most likely to suffer from serious injuries or even death from drinking and driving than any other age group. This doesn't mean your teenager will drink and then get behind the wheel, but it is important for parents to know the facts about teenage DUI before you let your teenager head off to that party in your car.
Teenagers Tend to Drink More
Teenagers tend to be more reckless and carefree than any other age group. This is simply because their brains are still developing and they haven't reached the state where they can logically see the consequences of their actions as adults can. For this reason, teenagers tend to binge drink. Teenagers are more likely to die as a result of drinking and driving than any other reason on the road. Your state laws will determine if your teenager is legally drunk by testing their blood alcohol level.
Laws Are Tougher on Underage DUIs
It is a crime for anyone to drink and drive, and many states have very serious penalties when a driver is caught for DUI. Teenagers face tougher laws pertaining to DUI than their adult counterparts for less alcohol in their system. For the most part, adults are considered drunk with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent. A teenager in most states is considered drunk with a blood alcohol level of just .02 percent. There are some states that have a zero tolerance policy for underage drinkers, with any BAC registering over 0 percent triggering a DUI.
Punishments for Teen Drivers
For a teenage driver convicted of DUI ,the punishments may vary depending on what state you are in. Typically, a teenager convicted of DUI will have their driver's license suspended for at least a year, if not more. Their vehicle can be impounded and they may face a fine depending on the details of the case.
As with adults, teen drunk drivers will most likely have to attend drug or alcohol counseling sessions, and take drivers' education classes too. It's possible they may face having to complete community service if the charge is serious enough, and there is the potential for jail time of up to one year. The teen may have to face probation for up to five years depending on state law and the facts of the case. Talk to a lawyer, like Kassel & Kassel A Group of Independent Law Offices, for more help.