Sunday, September 27, 2015

Torrance DUI Lawyer Discusses Under 21 Drinking and Driving

The problem of drinking and driving for underage drivers has hit a record this year.  The state of California has considered changing the way it deals with and punishes the offenders.   Here is a brief overview of the problem from the perspective of a recent AAA study:
  1. The drunk driving control system treats drivers under the age of 21 differently from those over 21 in several respects. Under minimum drinking age laws, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to drink, while under zero tolerance laws it is illegal for anyone under 21 to drive after drinking any alcohol. Many drivers under 21, and most under the age of 18, attend high school or college. These settings provide opportunities for education and information and for policies regarding alcohol use.

    In 1999, only 13% of drinking drivers in fatal crashes were under the age of 21. However, young drivers may be the most important target for drunk driving preven- tion and control measures. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s adults. Habits formed today carry over to tomorrow: safe driving, drinking practices, respect or disrespect for the law. Numerous studies show that young people have adopted the ideas of not drinking and driving far more than have their elders. Nevertheless, young people continue to drink, in large numbers in defiance of the minimum drinking age.

    The laws, programs, and educational efforts directed at young people clearly have had an effect, but they must be continued. Each year brings a new cohort of beginning drivers who must decide for themselves whether or not to drink and drive.

    Zero tolerance laws provide a special opportunity. The typical punishment for violating a zero tolerance law is suspension or revocation of the driver’s license. The driver’s license is a precious symbol of independence and mobility for young people, therefore a punishment of license confiscation should play an important role is any consequence.