Deadly Consequences of Underage Drinking and Driving
While driving under the influence (DUI), may cause serious injury or death most underage drinkers continue to ignore the consequences. Not only do the teens ignore the consequences but so do the adults; parents, educators and the community at large. Why should this be of concern? Because this is not just a teens problem, it is everyone’s problem. You very well may be the next victim.
Approximately 5,000 people under the age of 21 will die this year as a result of underage drinking. About 1900 of those deaths will be from motor vehicle crashes, and 45% of people who die in a motor vehicle crash involving a drunk driver under the age of 21 will be someone other than the driver. So why do teens ignore these staggering statistics and continue to drink and drive? Ultimately, these underage drivers alone are not solely responsible for the serious or deadly outcomes, so why do parents, educators and community leaders continue to ignore the facts?
When someone under the age of 21 consumes alcohol, it is called underage drinking. In the United States it is illegal for anyone under twenty-one to drink alcohol, despite the legalities underage drinking remains a nationwide problem. Drinking trends support that the majority of young people try alcohol before the age of 21 and a large percentage consume 5 or more drinks at one time.
A national survey conducted by United States Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS] reported “nearly one-third (31.5%) of all high school students reported hazardous drinking (5+ drinks in one setting) during the 30 days preceding the survey.” 1 The consequences that arise from underage alcohol consumption affects not only the drinker but those around them; their families, their friends and even their communities.