Driving drunk is reckless and inconsiderate. Not only is the driver putting himself or herself in danger, but he or she is also putting others directly in harm’s way. All it takes is for one slight swerve, or a slower reaction time, for there to be an accident with life-altering consequences.
When talking about drinking and driving, the person coming home from the bar often comes to mind. However, the truth is that underage drinkers also cause accidents. And, just like with drivers who are legally of age to drink, underage drunk drivers face similar consequences, both criminally and civilly.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while there was a decrease between 2002 and 2011 in the number of fatal accidents involving drivers between the age of 15 and 20, there are still plenty of accidents every year involving younger drivers. The statistics look at the number of these younger drivers killed, noting that 32 percent has been drinking. Among those drinking, 26 percent had a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent.
What this statistic does not go to show though is the damages done to others due to underage drunk drivers. The number does not speak to those hurt in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or those who lost loved ones due to someone else’s decision to drive drunk.
As mentioned earlier in this post, drunk driving is never OK. Not only are there criminal consequences for causing an accident while under the influence, but there are also civil consequences, meaning those injured can decide to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver. This is why it is always recommended to contact an attorney after an accident, especially if there is reason to believe the other driver was drunk, regardless of their age.