December 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Most states have strict laws against underage drinking, including South Carolina. Our state's zero tolerance law for drivers under age 21 regard a blood alcohol content of 0.02 percent as driving drunk, says the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. In addition to being arrested for DUI, underage drivers with a BAC of 0.02 or higher can face hefty penalties
, including fines, court costs and suspension of their driver's license for several months.
Underage drinking is a serious problem across the United States, necessitating laws such as these to keep young people safe and prevent them from harming others by driving drunk. In South Carolina alone, there were 41 driving fatalities resulting from underage drinkers in the state in 2011, and 108 DUI arrests of people under age 18, says The Century Council. More than 4,700 alcohol-related deaths among minors occur annually throughout the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Disturbingly, 8 percent of high school students admitted to drunk driving at some point within the past month, while 24 percent said they'd ridden in a car with a drunk driver.
The consequences of underage drinking
The adverse effects of underage drinking aren't limited to the dangers of drunk driving, says the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Other factors that can harm teens and young adults include:
- School, social and legal problems.
- Physical or sexual assault, or unplanned and unprotected sexual activity.
- Disruption of physical and mental development.
- Other injuries, such as falls, burns and drowning.
- Fatal alcohol poisoning.
For these reasons, it's considered a serious crime to host events that furnish alcohol to minors in the state of South Carolina. The Augusta Chronicle reported on an incident last May at an after-prom party in Greenville hosted by an older couple. The couple provided alcohol to teenage attendees, and were arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Several youth between the ages of 16 and 19 were also arrested for being in possession of alcohol. It's possible the parents of high school students attending a party during which alcohol was furnished by adults would intend to pursue legal action against those who were responsible.
Getting help from an attorney
For generations, teenagers have been known to cave in to peer pressure and to think that nothing bad will happen to them if they engage in risky behavior. This can result in otherwise good kids making unwise decisions. Since a drunk driving conviction can have repercussions that last for years, it would help to seek the counsel of an experienced drunk driving defense attorney. An attorney can help a minor understand the charges he or she faces, as well as attempt to have the penalties reduced in court.
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