So here’s the deal: It’s a Friday and you just got your driver’s license. You’re around sixteen years old, maybe even seventeen and you’ve been driving under supervision with your mom or dad for quite some time, but now, you’re legally able to drive on your own. 

You can even bring your friends on a joyride with you. And just like every momentous occasion, getting your driver’s license and being able to drive anywhere without the constant supervision calls for a celebration. And to commemorate that sense of freedom, your teenage self and your just agemates hop in your car and go party. And what’s a party without some alcohol? It’s a tad bit boring, right? And so have fun until you all get drunk and everyone feels less inhibited and a whole lot happy. Then, it’s time to go home so you and your friends managed to get your already-hammered selves packed into your car and hit the road at around midnight. Right now there is an almost perfect recipe for a disaster called teenage drunk driving.

What puts Teenage Drivers at Most Risk for a Fatal Car Crash?

Regardless of age, within the first few months of getting a driver’s license, a newly “graduated” driver is oftentimes more aggressive on the road. That can be attributed due to a lack of experience. But according to a CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) article on teenage drivers, drivers in their teens are more prone to speeding as compared to their counterpart drivers who are older in terms of age. That same article also underscores a statistic made in 2014 which showed that about 50% to more than half of the time, fatal car crashes involving teens occurred from between 3 o’clock in the afternoon up to midnight on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays.

Speeding and other such risky behaviors are also more likely to occur when teenagers driving under the influence of alcohol (or any other substance which impairs the driver’s ability and judgment on the road) are also carrying passengers that are just as similarly pumped with alcohol. Here’s a useful info according to DMVEDU: the more similarly-aged passengers the teenage drunk driver carries, the higher the risk of car crashes that result to death. 

What are Consequences of Teenage Drunk Driving?

It’s pretty obvious that driving under influence almost always results in a car crash. But when the person driving under influence is a teenager, that risk is exacerbated especially if he is in the presence of his equally drunk passengers.

A blood alcohol concentration (BAC), or the percentage of alcohol present in a person's bloodstream determine the effects the alcohol has on a person. A .08 BAC is already above the legal limit and anyone with at least this level of BAC in their system will experience poorer muscle coordination, impaired judgment, reasoning, self-control and memory, resulting in poorer concentration levels, impaired perception and speed control and a decrease in information processing capabilities.

Now imagine all those things happening to an already inexperienced teenage driver who was on the road at midnight driving with his friends after a drinking party. It’s exactly how it looks like, a trip straight to a hospital’s emergency room if they’re lucky, one to the police station if they’re a bit unlucky, and straight to the morgue if they’re downright unfortunate. 

A teenage drunk driver doesn’t just pose a risk to himself and his passengers, he also poses a risk to other drivers and pedestrians on the road. Even if a drunk teenage driver ever gets away with his life after a potentially deadly car crash, getting slapped with a DUI at the very least, or a Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide should any death resulted from the incident, would be a fairly costly consequence. For example, a DUI lawyer at Romano Law, P.C. recommends that you hire an attorney right away, if you’re caught driving under influence. Your DUI lawyer may even be able to help you reduce the charges against you depending on the circumstance.

Tips on How to Avoid a Teenage Drunk Driving Disaster.

Like most disasters, it can be avoided thru prevention.
1. It might be tempting to just drive unrestrained but at least for that first few months, try to always drive with a more experienced driver in your passenger seat;
2. If you’re planning to drink with friends, designate a driver amongst yourselves who will not drink any alcohol for the night. But of course, take turns in being a designated driver;
3. Just don’t drink and drive. That’s probably the best way to prevent a DUI on your record;
4. And here’s a final one for the road: Always Wear Your Seatbelts, Anytime, Everywhere. 
Make safety a priority; after all, you only live once.