Increased education and awareness about drunk driving have sent a clear message to U.S. drivers – impaired driving claims lives. Among the thousands of alcohol-related deaths that occur throughout the country each year, a good percentage involve underage drivers and victims who are too young to legally drink, even though there are laws in place to prevent them from easily obtaining alcohol. According to a recent study that looked at the problem of underage drunk driving from a broader perspective, this public health issue should be addressed head on with stronger policies.
The study, conducted in part by researchers affiliated with Harvard medical school and recently presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, focused on analyzing the scope and effectiveness of state alcohol policies. It also paid close attention to how policies deter minors from drinking and becoming involved in DUI accidents.
Ultimately, the study found that states with broad and stricter alcohol policies generally had lower rates of alcohol-related deaths among youth. These policies included:
- Regulations on hours and locations of alcohol sales
- Strict “safe serving” laws
- Tough DUI laws for motorists of all ages
- High alcohol taxes
These types of policies and regulations are being implemented with increasing regularity throughout the country, and although they can and do save lives, they do not prevent all deaths. As such, a great deal of responsibility for public safety falls onto the shoulders of law enforcement. These agencies devote extensive resources and manpower into looking for, arresting, and prosecuting impaired drivers.
At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., our legal team represents many clients in Orange County, CA who have been charged with underage DUI, and we understand that a lack of judgment and mistakes can have serious consequences for youth. Because underage drivers face stiff penalties and long-term consequences, it becomes incredibly important to secure legal representation from skilled defense lawyers.