Underage drinking and driving is a deadly practice that Massachusetts is making every effort to combat. In 2013, for example, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security is offering a grant to local district attorneys willing to host underage drinking prevention conferences.
Our Boston drunk driving accident attorneys are in favor of every effort to help stop teens from driving drunk. We believe that the new conferences planned by the Office of Public Safety and Security will prove helpful in finding new ways to combat the problem of underage drinking and driving.
The Dangers of Teen Drunk Driving
Stopping kids from drinking and driving is very important since the statistics indicate that drunk driving among teens is a major cause of injury and death. As the Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Public Safety and Security indicates:
- Auto accidents are the top cause of death for drivers ages 15-20. When young adults within this age group drive drunk, the danger is exacerbated because of their limited driving experience combined with the impairment caused by alcohol.
- NHTSA figures show that 30 percent of fatalities among 15-20 year olds killed in car accidents occurred when the drivers had a BAC of .01 or higher. In 25 percent of these fatal crashes, the drivers had a BAC of .08.
- 71 percent of the young drivers who were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2010 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the accident.
The data on teens and drunk driving is cause for major concern and the Massachusetts’ Office of Public Safety and Security believes that new conferences taught by District Attorneys can potentially help to limit the serious risk to young drivers.
The Underage Drinking and Driving Conferences
According to the Office of Public Safety, the goals for the new conferences are statewide and include:
- Hosting conferences that last for at least one day and that bring together people who play a key roll in stopping underage drinking. These people include parents; court personnel and law enforcement; school employees and athletic coaches; healthcare providers; youth service providers; and business and government leaders.
- Creating a plan to increase the readiness of the community to enforce underage drinking laws and to help change the way people in the community look at underage drinking.
- Hosting workshops and presentations that touch upon important subjects such as social host laws; the link between drinking and highway safety; school policies; and making responsible decisions on the use of alcohol.
- Creating a forum for people to discuss the impact of the community on underage drinking. Discussions can include the social pressures within the community as well as how to encourage responsible decisions regarding underage drinking.
- Creating a method of evaluating the success of the conference and the progress towards instituting change within the community.
These goals are important ones that the Office of Public Safety has set because they believe community action is key to stopping underage drinking. The conferences recognize the role that adult influence can have on teens and hope to find ways to harness both the power of adult guidance as well as the power of the community to combat the serious problems of underage drinking and driving.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident in the Greater Boston area, contact Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers, LLC for a free consultation. Call (617) 777-7777.