The National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA) has designated April as Alcohol Awareness month. The purpose of the designation is to bring to the forefront alcohol issues and offer preventative ideas so that individuals and communities can choose to take action.
“The consumption of alcohol by adult and underage drinkers poses risks especially when combined with driving. At Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., we see the tragedies that occur much too frequently, and would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to not drink and drive,” said Fort Myers Drunk Driving Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey.
Underage drinking poses significant risks to young people’s lives. Research has illustrated that the development of adolescent brains can be affected by the use of alcohol during youth and adolescence which contributes to a wide range of cognitive problems. The decision-making process, risky behavior, unsafe sexual encounters and/or violence can occur when alcohol is involved.
NASADAD (National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc.) in its February 2015 article on alcohol said, “Young people (under age 21) who drink are more likely to perpetrate or be the victim of physical or sexual violence. In addition, more than 190,000 young people (under age 21) went to the emergency room for alcohol-related injuries, and 5,000 persons under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related injuries, including car crashes, suicides, alcohol poisoning, falls, etc. The earlier individuals initiate alcohol use, the more likely they are to develop alcohol dependence or abuse.”
What is the penalty for DUI?
Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21. Any driver under 21 who is stopped by law enforcement and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have his/her Florida driver’s license suspended for 6 months.
Florida Law also requires (section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes) interlock devices to be installed on vehicles of drivers who are convicted of a DUI.
Parental strategies to prevent underage drinking:
ConsumerHealthDay.com recommends the following strategies:
- Develop a strong relationship with your teen. Your support will help your teen build the self-esteem he or she needs to stand up to peer pressure and live up to your expectations.
- Talk to your teen about the consequences of drunk driving. You may get your license revoked. It could show up on your record when you are applying for a job. You could hurt someone else.
- Know your teen's activities. Pay attention to your teen's plans and whereabouts. Encourage participation in supervised after-school and weekend activities.
- Encourage healthy friendships. If your teen's friends drink, your teen is more likely to drink, too. Get to know your teen's friends and their parents.
- Establish rules and consequences. Rules might include no underage drinking, leaving parties where alcohol is served and not riding in a car with a driver who's been drinking. Agree on the consequences of breaking the rules ahead of time, and enforce them consistently.
- Set an example. If you drink, do so only in moderation and explain to your teen why it's OK for adults to drink responsibly. Describe the rules you follow, such as not drinking and driving. Don't serve alcohol to anyone who's underage.
- Offer Them a Ride home. Promise to pick him/her up anytime, anywhere, no questions asked.
Hurt By Drunk Driver Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.