Each year, teen drivers right here in Fresno are getting arrested and charged with DUI (driving under the influence) and other alcohol-related offenses. While it is unfortunate for any individual to get arrested for DUI in Fresno, it is even more troubling when it involves a teen driver. Teens are more susceptible to peer pressure and generally, have less overall knowledge about alcohol and how if affects the body and one's driving ability.
I wanted to use today's blog post to review some general alcohol information regarding how it relates to teens and teen drivers here in the Fresno area. According to a report published on the Contra Costa Health Services website, teens use alcohol more than any other drug. Consider the following facts:
- Nearly 11 million kids between the ages of 12 and 20 reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days.
- Of those, 11% admit to being binge drinkers. This means that they have had five or more drinks in a row in the last two weeks.
- In addition to alcohol, some of these teens - those classified as heavy drinkers - are also using drugs. A “heavy drinker” is defined as someone who has consumed more than five drinks at once on at least five different days in the last month.
- Studies show that teens who drink will generally increase their alcohol intake around their junior year in high school. This is also the time when teens are most susceptible to “experiencing alcohol related problems.”
There is no doubt that teens who drink alcohol on a regular basis are more likely to have social or behavioral problems, academic concerns, and issues with law enforcement. Further, there are health factors that should be considered, as well.
One main health issue is that alcohol can lead a teenager to make risky choices and choose to partake in dangerous behavior. Generally, a teen driver would not normally think it's a good idea to drink and drive, but when under the influence, they may make a bad decision.
According to the Judicial Council of California, car accidents are the number one killer of teens in the U.S. In addition, teens are four times more likely to die or be injured in a car crash than older adults. Further, the Judicial Council has noted the following statistics related to teens and DUI:
- According to recent information, 8 teens die every day in DUI crashes.
- The rate for teen accidents increase significantly with any BAC level above .00%.
- In 2005, more than 7,400 teens died or were injured in alcohol-related accidents.
- Young male drivers are almost twice as likely to operate a vehicle under the influence than are young female drivers.
No matter what age you are, a Fresno DUI can lead to strict penalties and heavy fines. However, being convicted of DUI as a teenager can lead to some devastating effects. If you have been charged with a DUI in Fresno or the surrounding areas and need help, contact my office. We can schedule a consultation and discuss the facts of your case.