Driving under the influence is an offense most people believe someone over the age of 21 will commit. Unfortunately, teenaged drunk driving is a common cause of fatal and injury-causing car accidents.
Nationwide, the Center for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 10 high school students drunk and drive. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 are 17 times more likely to die in a drunken driving accident than if they had not been drinking.
In North Carolina, the Department of Transportation notes that there were more than 1,200 alcohol-related teen accidents in 2011. Overall, drinking and driving led to 3.2 percent of all teen accidents and 6.1 percent of teenaged driving accident injuries.
Underage drinking is a serious offense that can endanger other motorists as well as the passengers in the teen driver’s vehicle.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due a teenaged drunk driver, the victim may be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
Fill out the free case review form to your right for a no-cost, no-obligation review of your accident claim.
As motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death amongst teenagers, much research has been done in regards to why teens are so heavily involved in fatal and injury-related car wrecks.
The following are a few statistics from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the Center for Disease Control, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The number of collisions involving teen drivers is already high, but with alcohol in the mix the numbers are astonishing.
In North Carolina, as it is in most states, the legal drinking age is 21. The state also has a zero tolerance on underage drinkers, meaning that if a teen driver is found to have any blood alcohol content in their system they will immediately be charged.
Furthermore if you are under 21 years of age and are caught doing any of the following, it will result in license suspension of between 30 days and 1 year.
Having alcohol in your possession when you are less than 21 years of age can also result in a fine as can attempting to purchase it. Further penalties for driving under the influence include jail time, fines, and an extended license suspension.
It is important to note that drivers who are intoxicated and involved in a fatal car collision may face jail time and be charged with intoxicated manslaughter.
It is important that parents and guardians of teen drivers speak with them about the dangers of underage drinking and driving. Despite the possession and selling of alcohol to minors being illegal, many teens still find themselves being peer pressured into drinking and getting behind the wheel.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by an impaired teen driver, our attorneys can help. At Riddle & Brantley, LLP, we understand how important it is for all drivers to be safe, but particularly teen drivers. We are committed to fighting for the rights of the injured, particularly those harmed by a careless driver.
We have several offices located throughout North Carolina and proudly serve the following areas:
We also serve many more local towns and cities. For more information on how we can help you with your accident claim and to schedule a free initial case consultation, contact us at 1-800-525-7111. Remember, we work on a contingency basis which means you only pay when you win with to state that we don’t charge attorney fees unless we are successful in obtaining a recovery or offer of settlement.
You can also contact us online by filling out the free case review form at the top right hand corner of this page – it’s FREE to submit and strictly confidential.