According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 1 in 10 American high school teenager’s drinks and drives. In fact, the number of teenagers who admit to driving under the influence of alcohol in the United States, while in high school has dropped by approximately 4% since 1991. Even so, the numbers are unacceptably high because when a teenager is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, there can be long-term consequences over the rest of his life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teenagers drive approximately 2.4 million times a month after drinking alcohol. Statistics also state that 85% of teenagers in high school, who admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol in the past month, also admitted to binge drinking. Binge drinking or excessive drinking is the consumption of five or more alcoholic beverages in a single session in the case of males, and four more beverages in the case of females.
Binge drinking is linked not just to driving under the influence of alcohol, but devastating alcohol-related car crashes, violent assaults, rapes, sex crimes and other consequences. California has zero tolerance laws for teenage driving under the influence of alcohol, and California DUI laws for teenagers and underage drivers are some of the strictest in the country.
Parents play a huge role in helping reduce the risk of DUI involving their children. Parents must be involved in monitoring their teenage children's social and driving habits. One trick that works is to sign a parent-teen driving agreement that clearly outlines the responsibilities of the teenage driver, including avoiding DUI. Rewards can be set out for meeting certain goals, and penalties must also be established for violations of the agreement.