Underage drinking and driving don’t mix. Underage drinking is a serious public health and safety problem.
Here are some Pennsylvania DUI death statistics for 2010 provided by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
Pennsylvania ranked 35. That means the state ranks on the higher end of DUI traffic deaths. There were 433 DUI fatalities. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) has been working diligently in Pennsylvania for years to get stronger interlock legislation, but the Legislature has still not acted.
What are they waiting for?
According to a report submitted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, alcohol is the most widely used substance of abuse among young people in the United States. In 2009, 39 percent of 20-year-olds reported drinking in the last 30 days at levels that substantially increase the risk of injury or death. In this same period, approximately 14 percent of this same age group drank at these levels five or more times.
In the age group 12 to 20:
- 445,000 used alcohol in the past month (of 2010)
- 294,000 did binge alcohol in the past month (of 2010)
Binge drinking means that one young adult drank five or more drinks on the same occasion or at the same time within a few hours of each other on at least one day within 30 days.
One in five teens binge drink…while only 1 in 100 parents believe his or her teen binge drinks.
The most common place where youths drink is in a social setting either at someone’s house where two or three peers are present or at a large social gathering whether it’s a private home or fraternity. Underage drinkers are never worried about obtaining alcohol; they perceive it as readily available.
The biggest problem with underage drinking is motor vehicle crashes. Teenagers have three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. While full of bravado behind the wheel they lack actual driving experience behind the wheel with or without alcohol.
Among those aged 16-20, male drivers with a BAC (blood alcohol content) at 0.08 percent were 52 times more likely that sober male drivers aged 16-20, to die in a single vehicle fatal crash.
Underage drinking and driving negatively impacts the well-being of drivers, passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, and society at large. Underage drinking and driving inflicts huge financial, emotional, and physical losses.
If your loved ones have been seriously hurt or died by the negligent behavior of a drunk driver or an underage drunk driver, please contact the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Anapol Weiss, who have settled a multitude of drunk driver cases.