Jackson, MS- The leading cause of death for U.S. teens is motor vehicle crashes. Those crashes amount to six fatalities among the 16-19 age group every day. The Center for Disease Control says teen drivers are more likely to cause a fatal collision if they have been drinking than older drivers. That is why Mississippi parents should talk to their teens about drinking and driving this holiday season.
Holidays are Dangerous Times on the Road
Whether a driver has experience or is a novice, there is a heightened risk being in an accident around the holidays due in part to an increase in traffic. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration refers to as Thanksgiving Eve, kicks off the holiday travel season. During the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, fatal and injurious crashes in Mississippi and the U.S. overall increase significantly, primarily due to an increase in drunken driving.
Thanksgiving is the deadliest holiday on the nation’s highways and streets, according to an NHTSA press release, so it’s important to talk to your teen about avoiding risky driving behaviors such as impaired driving, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.
Why Should I Talk to My Teen About Drinking and Driving?
Most parents would like to think their teen has the good sense to stay off the road if they’ve been drinking, but that isn’t the case. Many adults don’t say no to driving when they’ve had a drink or two, so why should a parent expect their teen to refrain from impaired driving? Parents need to emphasize the dangers of drinking and driving and explain to their teens the consequences they face if they drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
As stated above, teen drivers are at a higher risk of causing a crash if they have alcohol in their system. According to the NHTSA, 16 percent of 15 to 18-year-old drivers involved in fatal accidents had been drinking.
Informing your teen of those unfortunate facts might discourage them from getting into a car with an impaired driver. They might also be reluctant to drive under the influence of alcohol if they understand the legal ramifications of their actions.
In Mississippi, it is illegal for an underage driver to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or above. If a teen’s BAC exceeds the 0.02 percent threshold, they can be charged with an underage DUI and face the following penalties if convicted:
First Conviction-Up to two days in jail, a fine between $250 to $1,000 and 30-90 days driver’s license suspension.
Second Conviction- If the DUI conviction occurs within five years, the penalties include five days to one year in jail, a fine between $600 and $1,500 and two years driver’s license suspension.
On top of DUI charges, underage drivers can be charged with the following:
Distributing alcohol to minors if any underage passengers have also been drinking
Minor in possession of alcohol
The legal penalties are not the only thing a teen has to worry about; there are personal consequences to a DUI arrest and conviction as well. An arrest and criminal charge will show up on a teen’s record when they apply for college or a job and prevent them from getting into a good school or securing the position they want.
Hire a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi
If your life has been devastated by a drunk driving crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or the death of a loved one. We recommend you speak to an experienced lawyer to see if you are eligible. You can locate a drunk driving lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi at USAttorneys.com and arrange a case evaluation to learn what steps you should take to recover the compensation you deserve from an impaired driver.