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Report: New Survey Finds One in Three Teens Rode with Drunk Driver Last Year

Drunk driving is a very serious problem in Boston as well as the rest of the country. While drunk driving accidents results in thousands of deaths and other cases of serious each year, the real fear in potential drunk drivers seems to be of getting arrested rather than being in an deadly crash, at least according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

571004_in_reminder_of_____The reason we assume this, even if these organizations have not directly come out and said it, is because whenever we see an anti-drunk driving advertisement, billboard, or listen to one of the commercials on the radio, they generally seem to focus on the cost and inconvenience of being arrested for drunk driving. For example, we see slogans like drive drunk hammered, get nailed, or sober or slammer, or one add showing a guy blowing into a roadside breath testing instrument with a caption that says “you just blew $10,000, which obviously alludes to the cost of hiring and attorney, court costs and fines, the cost of increased insurance, and other financials costs of being arrested for drink driving.   While there are some, we very rarely see any anti-drunk driving commercials that focus on the serious physical injury and deaths often caused by drunk driving car accidents.

The fact that potential drunk drivers seem to only fear being arrested may be one of the reasons people are so willing to ride in a car with a drunk driver. According to a recent news article from Action News 13, a survey shows that around one in three teens rode in a car with a drunk driver last year.   Additional survey responses show that one in four teens would be willing to get in a car with a drunk driver behind the wheel, even if they haven’t done so in the past years. Mothers Against Drunk Driving and a major insurance carrier paid for this survey to be performed. The survey was administered to teens and young adults between the ages of 15 and 20.

While it is obvious that one would think of peer pressure contributing to the large percentage of teens who have no problem getting in a car being driven by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving notes that in nearly 30 percent of the positive responses for teens who got in a car with a known drunk driver, it was a parent or guardian who was the one driving. In around 15 percent of positive responses, it was a relative other than parent behind wheel who was intoxicated. In other words, in over 40 percent of the positive responses, it was a teen in a car that a drunk relative was driving.

MADD says this is an example of “terrible parenting” and is also illegal. While there is no question this is illegal, not only with respect to drunk driving charges, but also in terms of child endangerment charges, again this goes to the fear of being arrested. However, Boston drunk driving accident lawyers see the real dangers of drunk driving in terms of seriously injured and killed victims due to serious car crashes.

If you have been injured in a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Survey: 1 in 3 teens rode with drunk drivers last year, October 21, 2015, 13 Action News, by Anne McNamara

More Blog Entries:

Alleged Drunk Driver Crashes into Saugus, Massachusetts Home, Aug. 21, 2014, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog