Drinking and Driving

Caitlin Gorman, Writer

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Drunk driving has been a huge issue among teenagers within the ages of 16-18 since the 1990s. Some may wonder if it is it still a problem to this day for the millennial generation. Researchers have discovered that the percentage of teens in high school who drink and drive has decreased by more than half since 1991. Some factors that could be the result of less drinking and driving that help to keep teens safe include parental involvement, minimum legal drinking age and zero tolerance laws, and graduated driver licensing systems.

However, it is still illegal to drink under the age of 21, but teens still continue to consume alcohol anyway. In fact, one in 10 teens drink and drive. This is not healthy or safe in any circumstances and the it is more likely for teens to crash while under the influence. This could be dangerous for not only the one driving but the other drivers on the road. If teens decide to drink then they should have a safe plan for a ride home by someone trusted and who is sober. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Parental involvement, with a focus on monitoring and restricting what new drivers are allowed to do, helps keep new drivers safe as they learn to drive. Parents can consider creating and signing a parent-teen driving agreement with their teens. Research has shown that when parents establish and enforce the “rules of the road”, new drivers report lower rates of risky driving, traffic violations, and crashes.”

After interviewing the students at Tuscarora high school, there was different point of views on whether drunk driving is still a problem. One student named Drevon Tyre said “Yes it is a problem because, peer pressure with young kids is increasing.” Another student named Brian Joja, believes teenagers like to drink because it makes them look “cool” or they want to fit in. Meanwhile a student named Dan Palmer thinks drinking and driving is dangerous and causes destruction on the roads, which is a very common answer. Lastly, Sam Rearick said “Drinking and driving is a minor problem it seems to be fading since the past generations.” Therefore, many students agree that drinking and driving is not a good idea.

Some ways to prevent teen drinking and driving hazards could be for teens to never drink while knowing they are responsible to drive, refusing to enter a vehicle with somebody who is under the influence, and wear a seat belt no matter how short the trip is. A reminder for all high school students is that is illegal for adults to drive with a BAC of .08% or higher. It is illegal for anyone under age 21 to drive after drinking any alcohol in all US states. Overall, it is surprising to see how much the percentage of teen drinking and driving has dropped in the last decade.

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