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The problems facing teens seeing parents who drink and drive

The popular parenting adage, “Do as I say, not as I do “ apparently does not resonate with teens when it comes to drinking and driving. A 2014 study published by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found that teens who have driven with an intoxicated driver are much more likely to do it themselves.

The research findings prompted one of the researchers to explain that it is just as dangerous for a teen to ride with an intoxicated driver as it is to drive while under the influence of alcohol themselves. The research focused on 10 graders who had their driver’s licenses. Specifically, those who reported riding with a drunk driver were more than 20 times more likely to drive while under the influence by their senior year in high school. 

While drinking rates are reportedly lower than they were a decade ago, researchers were still concerned about how teens who see such behavior on a regular basis begin to believe that drunk driving is an accepted and common practice. Moreover, the risks, criminal and otherwise, may be lost on them because they will fall back on the common feeling, “it won’t happen to me.”

Nevertheless, for drivers under the age of 21, driving in the state of Minnesota with greater than a .02 percent BAC is a crime. A criminal conviction can have substantial implications on the ability to obtain scholarships and admission to colleges and universities. Of course, teens make mistakes. And when they happen, an experienced criminal defense attorney is invaluable.

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