The Problem Of Teenage Drunk Driving In The United States

Drunk driving is one of the main causes of deaths on the road. Teens, however, are more than half of the percent of drivers causing drunk crashes. Why is teenage drunk driving such a tragedy in the United States? Drunk driving is illegal in every U.S. state. The dangers of getting behind the wheel while under the influence can cause someone’s life. Alcohol disrupts communication, judgement, and response time. Your brain when it’s infused with alcohol causes drowsiness and blurred vision due to the liquor absorbing the vitamins are needed to maintain eyesight. Gale, a Cengage Company (2014 pg. 1) “Because it directly affects the brain’s ability to function properly, the level of alcohol in the bloodstream is an important measure of impairment.” Teenage drunk driving is a danger to society. It causes major brain damage, injuries, and even death to the drivers or people being hit. The statistics of teens causing crashes is high and has a negative impact to society, needing the problem to immediately be solved.

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The statistics of drunk driving on roads while under the influence is a tragedy. Over 50% of all fatal highway crashes involving two or more cars are alcohol related. That’s almost half the percent of Americans who drive cars. Darcy Lewis (Oct. 1, 2011 pg. 1) “According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, “An estimated 12 percent of all drivers 30.2 million people drove drunk at least once during the previous year. The drunk-driving rates for those ages 16-17 were better at 6.3 percent. But for drivers 18-20, that number rose to 16.6 percent.” The percent of drunk driving is rising everyday and causing more fatal crashes. Society for the Advancement of Education (Dec. 1, 2011 pg. 1) “According to a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Washington, D.C. “There are an estimated 1,980 emergency department visits involving underage drinking during holiday season, compared to 546 such visits on an average day.” Statistics leading to drunk driving are growing more and more every day.

Society is a major part involving drunk driving. It causes an economic impact including medical costs and court bills. Close-Up Media, Inc. (Oct. 13 2012 pg. 1) “There are many contributing factors to the decrease in drunk driving among teens over the past 20 years and The Century Council noted that it is proud to play a role and will continue to develop partnerships and innovative programs to further reduce teen drunk driving.” Drunk driving is irresponsible for teens and causes a rise in deaths and injuries in America. Centaur Communications Limited (Oct 11, 2017 pg. 1) “ISBA director of public affairs Ian Twinn says: “We are concerned that businesses are being asked to give the message to youngsters that underage drinking is harmful. We think the move will be counterproductive. Education is the right approach and the Government should be targeting parents to talk about the ill-effects of underage drinking. Almost 30 people die in drunk crashes every day. Property damage, traffic congestion, and major insurance bills are effects driving under the influence has on society and can cause major money to fix.

Due to how many deaths are occurring, the problem of teens and adults driving under the influence needs to be solved. By giving out DUI’s the percentage of teens drinking and driving has made a slow impact. Close-Up Media, Inc. (Oct. 13, 2012 pg. 1) “According the report, “Substantial progress has been made during the past two decades to reduce drinking and driving among teens.” The Century Council, funded by America’s leading distillers, has been at the forefront in the fight against drunk driving across the United States since its founding in 1991.” The struggle of getting teens to not drink and drive has always been an issue especially in the 2000’s. Close-Up Media “The drop can be attributed to various policy changes as well as educational programs. Some of the policy changes included instituting a legal drinking age of 21 and implementing strict zero tolerance laws establishing lower maximum blood alcohol content levels for drivers under 21.” The effects of alcohol in teens is also a major issue. Gale, a Cengage Company (2018 pg. 3) “Consuming high amounts of alcohol over a long period has also been linked to cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, breast, liver, and colon. Prolonged heavy drinking can be especially dangerous for the liver. High amounts of alcohol over time can inflame and significantly scar the organ. This scarring is known as cirrhosis, a condition that causes the liver to stop working properly.”

Drunk driving is a tragic effect caused by teens drinking and driving while illegally being under the influence of alcohol. Alcoholism is no joke and can cause major damage to your body if you were to get addicted to the substance. Why risk injuring other people by being drunk and getting in to drive your vehicle, when you could think before you act and save a life. When driving drunk you risk getting a DUI, your license taken away, and even jail time. Gale a Cengage Company (2014 pg. 4) “For example, in Nebraska, a first-time offender pays a $500 fine and goes to jail for seven to sixty days and loses his or her license for up to six months. A third offense comes with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of ninety days, a $1,000 fine, and revocation of the license for fifteen years. In some states, community service or alcohol education classes can reduce jail or probation time, but in general, fines and jail time are much more severe than they were ten or twenty years ago.” Teenage drunk driving is a hazard to society and citizens. The statistics of teens causing crashes is very high and has a huge negative impact onto society, needing it to be resolved as soon as possible.

Source Citations:

  1. 1) “Drunk Driving” Gale in Context Online Collection, Gale, 2014. Gale in Context:High School, UIC&xid=b95f1b7e. Accessed 1 Nov. 2019.
  2. Lewis, Darcy. “; Crash drunk driving is a matter of life and death.” Current Health Teens, a Weekly Reader publication, Oct. 2011, p. 6+. Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 20 Nov. 2019.
  3. “Teach teens dangers of underage drinking. (Your Life)” USA Today, May 2002, p. 8. Gale in Context: U.S. History, Accessed 20 Nov. 2019.
  4. “CDC Data Shows Drop in Drunk Driving Among High School Students” Entertainment Closeup, 13 Oct. 2012. Gale in Context: Biography, Accessed 20 Nov. 2019.
  5. “ISBA set for clash over Ball’s underage drinking strategy” Marketing Week, 11 Oct. 2007, p. 3. Gale in Context: High School, Accessed 11 Dec. 2019.
  6. “CDC Data Shows Drop in Drunk Driving Among High School Students.” Entertainment Close-up, 13 Oct. 2012. Gale in Context: Biography, Accessed 20 Nov. 2019.
  7. “Alcoholism” Gale in Context Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Gale in Context: High School, Accessed 1 Nov. 2019.
  8. “Drunk Driving” Gale in Context Online Collection, Gale, 2014. Gale in Context: High School,
07 September 2020

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