August 30, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Drinking and driving remains a major cause of injuries and deaths across the country. To bring down the numbers of those affected by drunk driving, it may help to educate teens about the consequences that can happen when they decide to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. The Century Council says that fatalities caused by underage drinking are down 77.8 percent from ten years ago; while this is good news, the fact remains that underage drinking continues to be a problem in Oregon.
In 2011, there were 14,966 arrests for DUI in Oregon; 87 of these involved drivers under the age of 18. Five alcohol-impaired fatal crashes involved underage drivers. Each year, more Oregon families suffer the loss of loved ones due to underage drinking.
Oregon underage DUI laws
Under Oregon law
, anyone under the age of 21 with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system will automatically fail a sobriety test and face license suspension, says DMV.org. Additionally, these drivers may be required to use an ignition interlock device in their vehicles to prevent drinking and driving again.
The New York Daily News reported on a story that may show why these laws are so important. On New Year's Day, an 18-year-old driver from Astoria struck two cars and fled the scene. He later posted a status update on Facebook admitting to hitting the vehicles while driving drunk, and police officers arrested him. Because the alcohol had left his system and his intoxication could not be proved, the teen was charged with failing to perform the duties of a driver instead.
The consequences of underage drinking and driving
DrunkDrivingPrevention.com says that teenagers are often treated as adults when charged with a DUI and face the same serious penalties, which include:
Driver's license suspension or revocation
Expensive fines and court fees
Alcohol abuse treatment
In addition to the many penalties associated with a DUI, a young person can face embarrassment, job loss or the inability to get a job, difficulties in school, family problems and more.
An attorney can protect the rights of a minor
Anyone who has been arrested for underage drinking and driving will face a variety of penalties that can be costly and, in some cases, life-changing. It's important to contact a defense attorney with experience handling drunk driving cases in order to protect your rights and help you understand what you may be facing in court. In some cases, a drunk driving defense attorney may be able to get the charges lessened or even dropped for young people who have been arrested for a DUI.