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Heightened Alcohol Restrictions for all Help Prevent Underage DUI Accidents and Fatalities

Alcohol Restrictions Help Prevent Underage DUI Accidents

cop holding a breathalyzer | Alcohol Restrictions for all Help Prevent Underage DUI AccidentsTeen drivers are at an increased risk for getting into a car accident, simply because they are novice drivers. When you add alcohol into the mix – the results can be deadly. Approximately 2000 underage drinkers die each year behind the wheel and drunk driving is responsible for a third of all teenage auto fatalities. These statistics are surprising and a bit sobering for parents of young drivers.

Yet, there may be a bit of hope. A new study has determined that fewer teen deaths result when a state’s overall alcohol restrictions are tighter. This is encouraging news when you consider that motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for U.S. teenagers, and that alcohol is a contributing factor in one-quarter of those crashes.

The study found that regulations geared toward the general public were more effective than those aimed at teens alone. Restrictions governing the number of stores where alcohol is available in a certain area and the number of hours a day it can be sold are shown to be effective, in addition to taxes on alcohol sales.

The results of the study were presented in May at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Baltimore. There, lead author Scott Hadland, an adolescent medicine physician at Boston Children’s Hospital, discussed the impact of alcohol prices on adolescent alcohol consumption. He asserts that young people’s alcohol consumption is directly affected by price and that they can afford less as the price increases.

Researchers focused on young people between the ages of 16 and 20- those who can legally drive, but not legally drink. Policy experts from sociology, psychology, law, and economics convened to examine the laws and regulations of all 50 states from 1999 to 2012.

While policies that addressed the population as a whole were successful, the researchers discovered that some teen-specific regulations worked as well.

Among those regulations were ones that hold parents responsible when youths drink in their home, and graduated driver’s license laws. A graduated driver’s license imposes restrictions until a driver reaches a specific age or experience level. The restrictions ban cell phone use, govern nighttime driving hour limitations, and the number of passengers allowed in the car with the new driver.

Further Reading: The Top 10 Deadliest Driving Habits

Hadland acknowledged that factors other than policy influenced teen driver death rates. Variations among states in regards to distance traveled, as well as new policies activated during the study period could all impose variables.

In the future, Hadland would like to examine the effects of state alcohol policies on 21 to 25 year-olds – another demographic highly susceptible to deadly alcohol-related crashes.

The goal is to ultimately be able to assist local and state governments establish life-saving policies, strengthening them where necessary.

What can Parents Do to Help Teens?

Parents can help their teens understand the dangers of drunk driving by providing them with educational materials. Talk to your teen driver and have honest and frank conversations about the dangers on the road and what happens when you mix alcohol and driving. Parents can also help by giving their children the number to a taxi company or Uber, by helping them plan their outings safely, and by offering to pick them up no matter what. Help them plan “exit strategies” in the event they are surrounded by friends who are drinking or suddenly thrust into an uncomfortable situation where alcohol is being served. Knowing how to get out of these situations is key to avoiding a drunk driving accident.

Contact Our Experienced Broomfield Personal Injury Lawyers

Broomfield, CO Personal Injury Attorneys at Hull & Zimmerman, PCIf your teenager or someone you love has been injured in a drunk driving car accident in Thornton, Broomfield, Northglenn, Westminster, or anywhere in Colorado, it is important to contact our experienced personal injury attorneys immediately. At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., our committed personal injury lawyers are dedicated to the belief that everyone deserves justice. Contact us at (303) 423-1770 or (866) 385-3505.

Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience representing injured accident victims in Broomfield, Arvada, Superior, Lafayette, Louisville, Erie, Brighton, Commerce City, Northglenn, Westminster, Thornton, Longmont, and throughout Colorado.

 

 

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At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., we are honored to help accident victims in their time of need, and take our responsibility as personal injury lawyers incredibly seriously. We know how important it is for victims to secure the full and fair compensation they need following a serious accident, and that is why we take a hands-on, personalized approach to every case we handle.

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