Prom Problems - Will Your Kid Get a DUI?
By: Mary Ann Pekara
With high school proms happening all over the United States; police are cracking down on the number of drunk teenagers driving home. They are setting up check points on main roads, and visiting schools to warn students on the dangers of drunk driving. Parents are being asked to speak with their children, to help prevent deaths and DUIs.
Simply refusing a breathalyzer won't help you on prom night, either. Any driver refusing a breath test will face extra charges in every state, but special zero tolerance laws will up the stakes for anyone under 21.
Below we have put together some statistics about this time of year and some preventive measures parents can use to keep their teen safe.
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Prom Problems: Will Your Kid Get a DUI?
'The Heat is On'
Police increase the number of check points and change locations nightly to help prevent drunk driving accidents during the "teen killing season" of April to June.
In most states, the legal blood alcohol limit is between 0.00% and 0.02% for people under the legal drinking age.
A person under 21 can face more severe penalties after a DUI conviction than a person of the legal drinking age.
Varying by state, first time DUI offenders can generally expect to incur a fine and possible jail time. The penalty is much harsher if property is damaged, an accident occurs, or there is an injury or death.
Mock DUI and accident scenarios are being acted out in front of students in an attempt to make students realize the severity of drinking and driving.
33% of teen fatalities involving drinking and driving occur between April and June.
20% of all alcohol consumed in the US is drunk by 13-20 year olds.
Nearly 25% of drivers ages 16-20 involved in fatal automobile accidents had been engaged in teenage drinking.
About 2.4 million teenagers are heavy drinkers, meaning they had five or more drinks at one time on five or more days in the past month.
50% of all deaths in traffic accidents involving underage drivers who drank are people other than the teenage drinking driver.
33% of students admit to having gotten in a car with a teenage driver who had been drinking.
The Parents'Checklist for a Safer Prom
So you've decided to let them drive...
- Come up with a "sober contract" stating they will remain alcohol and drug free during prom and graduation season.
- Talk with your teens about the dangers of alcohol and drinking on prom night.
- Stay connected with your teen throughout prom night, know who they are with.
- Know how to contact the other parents from your teen's group of friends.
- After-parties are a source of concern due to lack of supervision. If you are hosting, DO NOT SERVE ALCOHOL.
- Stay up until they get home.
For more information and to find a DUI attorney near you, check out TotalDUI.com.