Teen Driver DUI
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% of all teen accidents and 6.1% 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.
Teen Drinking & Driving Statistics
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.
- Between 1999 and 2009 approximately 26.5 % of fatal car accidents involved impaired drivers, under the age of 20, with blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08.
- In 2010, 22% of drivers aged 15 to 20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes had been drinking.
- 56% of teens involved in fatal drinking and driving accidents were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision.
- The number of 15 to 20 year old drivers involved in fatal collisions, who had a BAC of .01 or higher rose by 3 percent between 2008 and 2011.
- 24% of teens admit to being a passenger of a teen driver who had been drinking.
- 8% of teen admit to driving after drinking.
The number of collisions involving teen drivers is already high, but with alcohol in the mix the numbers are astonishing.
Teen Drunk Driving Laws
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.
- Purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol
- Using a fraudulent license or ID to purchase alcohol
- Using someone else’s identification or license to purchase alcohol
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.
Contact our Goldsboro Auto Accident Attorneys Today
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 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:
…and 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 don’t pay us unless we recover compensation for you.
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.