As the school year draws to a close, many students will be taking part in several special events. Whether it is going to prom or their classmates' graduation parties, high school students will have plenty of opportunities to celebrate. While many of these events will happen incident-free, underage drinking is a problem that is receiving a lot of attention from law enforcement throughout Pennsylvania.
Underage drinking can lead to underage DUI. A recent study by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation reported that more teenage girls, who were driving under the influence of alcohol, were being killed in drunk driving accidents. Teen drivers with a blood-alcohol content between .02 and .049 were nearly three times more likely to be killed in a fatal car accident than their sober counterparts.
One of the ways that officials will look to reverse this trend is increased enforcement of drunk driving laws. Pennsylvania law states that anyone 21 or under will be considered to be driving under the influence if they BAC is .02 or higher. First-offense penalties for minors convicted of DUI are more severe than those for first-time offenders of legal age.
Those convicted will be facing a potential license suspension, as well as very high fines. Additionally, teen drivers may see their insurance rates skyrocket. It may take years before their premiums return to normal levels. If parents supplied the alcohol to the teens, they too may be facing potential punishments.
It is important to know the consequences of a DUI conviction. Knowing the options available to you at this time can help you make a decision that is best for your future.
Source: LiveScience "Fatal Accidents Rise for Young Women Who Drink and Drive" MyHealthNewsDaily Staff April 3, 2012.