Drunk Driving Plagues Teens


Karley Glover, Graphics Editor

In the heat of the moment, teens aren’t thinking if they get behind the wheel they can kill their friend sitting in the seat next to them or themself. A drunk teen doesn’t think if they drive down that dark street and take their eyes off of the road one more time, they’re going to crash into the car driving down the other side of the road with a family of five inside it. They don’t think about how as they crawl out of their overturned car, they’ll look inside and see all of their friends inside, and none of them will be breathing. They don’t think about how as they walk over to the car they hit, they hear a baby cry. A baby that no longer has parents, or a brother, or a sister.

Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving accidents—that’s one person every 48 minutes. As of 2017 drunk driving crashes claimed more than 10,000 lives each year.

Teenage life is filled with new responsibilities and exciting experiences, one of the most important events is getting their license. That privilege, though, puts teenagers’ lives at risk even more so when they choose to text and drive, drive while distracted and unfortunately drive under the influence of alcohol.

On top of being inexperienced, teens throw caution to the wind as they believe they can do anything they want, think nothing bad will happen or just feel invincible and underestimate the consequences that their actions can have.

Events such as parties, school dances and even just hanging out with friends are among the many pastimes that encourage teens to drink.

Car crashes are the number one killer of teens in the U.S. In 2003, teens were involved in 13% of car crash fatalities and made up one-fifth of all alcohol-related crashes. Additionally, eight teens die every day in DUI crashes.

Many believe strong coffee, a cold shower or exercising will sober someone up enough for them to drive. However these are myths; only time can sober someone up. The average liver can only process one unit of alcohol (approximately half of a 12 oz. can beer) every hour. Therefore it takes several hours for a person to be completely sober.

In addition to the length of time it takes to become sober, at all levels of blood alcohol content, the effects of alcohol are a lot stronger for teens than for adults because teens are still growing and developing.

The solution to prevent these accidents is simple. Teens just shouldn’t drink and drive. However, if they find themselves intoxicated there are a few precautions in order to prevent a fatality. Take an uber, lift, etc, call a responsible and sober adult or friend to pick them up or stay the night.

Teenagers are subject to peer pressure and this causes them to make the decision to drink and drive which often proves to be fatal. By making good decisions and not subjecting themselves to the ridicule of friends, countless lives could be saved. Don’t be a statistic. Stop yourself. Stop a friend.