Teen Drinking And Driving Drops Significantly

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported some good news for parents of teenagers in Michigan and across the country. According to the CDC, fewer high school students are driving after consuming alcohol these days. The CDC report revealed that the number of teenagers engaging in this reckless and dangerous behavior has actually decreased by about 54 percent over the past two decades.

In 2011, nine out of 10 high school students reported that they did not drive after drinking alcohol. Despite these encouraging facts, the CDC reported that there are still about 2.4 million incidents of teenagers drinking and driving every month in the U.S.

In addition, even though fewer teens are participating in this behavior, often the ones who drive after consuming alcohol are significantly under the influence when they get behind the wheel. The CDC report found that 85 percent of high school students who drink and drive also report that they binge drink.

Consequently, it is not surprising that teens who are under the influence of alcohol are still widely responsible for deadly motor vehicle accidents. In 2010, one out of every five teenage drivers who caused a fatal accident was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. Supporting the continuing concern regarding binge drinking, the blood alcohol content for over 80 percent of those teen drivers was over the state's legal limit for adult drivers.

Why are fewer teens drinking and driving?

To continue this downward trend, it is wise to consider the factors leading to the decrease in the number of teens who drink and drive.

To begin with, many point to increasing involvement by parents and schools. Teachers and parents have communicated in increasing numbers with young drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving. The tactics used to communicate the message have become more powerful as well. For instance, many schools now participate in mock motor vehicle accidents, to demonstrate the horrific consequences associated with drinking and driving.

Zero-tolerance laws have also made it illegal for people under 21 years of age to drive after consuming any amount of alcohol.

In addition, many states, including Michigan, have adopted graduated driver's licensing systems. These laws place limitations on a teenager's license, such as dictating a curfew and specifying how many people may be in the vehicle while the teen is driving.

Michigan drunk driving accidents

In Michigan, motorists under the age of 21 are not allowed to drive if their BAC is .02 or above. For drivers over the age of 21, it is illegal to drive with a BAC at or above .08. Drivers also face added penalties if their BAC is at or above .17.

After a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver in which someone has been injured or killed, the responsible party should be held accountable. A skilled, Ann Arbor personal injury attorney will ensure the rights of the injured party are protected.