Young drivers have less experience on the road making them subject to more accidents including fatal accidents, even when sober. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that teen drivers are 3 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than adults. When a driver consumes any amount of alcohol, their risk of being involved in a serious accident becomes even higher. Lawmakers and law-enforcement agents work hard to prevent young drivers from consuming alcohol and operating a vehicle. Since 1991, the number of high school age drivers who report consuming alcohol and driving has decreased by more than 50%. Still, it is reported by the CDC that 1 in 10 teenage drivers drinks and drives. In New Hampshire 9.2% to 11% of teens aged 16 or older reported drinking and driving.
Alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents amount teens. In fact, in 2010 1 in 5 teenage drivers involved in a fatal accident had some amount of alcohol in their system at the time. Drivers ages 16 to 20 are 17 times more likely to die in a drunk driving crash when they have an alcohol concentration of .08 or more than when they have no alcohol in their system. Additionally, 81% of teenage drivers involved in fatal crashes had a BAC of .08% or more.
In order to reduce the number of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents, lawmakers push for stricter guidelines regarding teenage drinking and driving. The CDC recommends the following in order to prevent teenage alcohol-related fatalities:
- Minimum legal drinking age – In the US, it is illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
- Zero-tolerance laws – Many groups call for laws that charge underage drivers with DWI for operating a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system.
- Graduated driver licensing – The CDC feels that new drivers should only be issued licenses that allow them to drive during the day or during less risky conditions. This allows them to gain more experience before they are given the full driving privileges of an adult.
- Parental involvement – Many anti-DWI groups argue that parents have a responsibility to monitor their children and make sure they know the risks of drinking and driving.
In New Hampshire, a driver under 21 can be charged with it the same DWI offense as an adult if they operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02 or more. The penalties for a DWI conviction can lead to a fine of at least $500, 1 year of license suspension, DWI education and class B misdemeanor charges. In addition, a DWI conviction on a juvenile's criminal record could affect their ability to get into a college or find employment. Not to mention, any additional charges in the next 7 years will be charged as a repeat DWI offense. If your child has been arrested for DWI in New Hampshire, it is vital that they fight the charges. An experienced DWI attorney from Russman Law can help them do that. Contact a lawyer right now to find out more about your defense options.