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All Press Releases for February 28, 2014 »
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Teen driver's wealth may have affected his choices to drink and drive

Drinking and driving can have serious consequences.
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    February 28, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In every U.S. state, including New York, strict laws regarding underage drinking and driving exist to protect people on the road, as well as teenage and young adult drivers. There are serious penalties for teens who drink and drive, including fines, community service and the loss of a driver's license. However, these consequences are not nearly as severe as the years of prison time that can result if a driver seriously injures or kills someone else while driving intoxicated.

It's widely known that teenagers can make poor decisions than older, more experienced adults will not make. Some judges may be lenient on an underage person who has been charged with a DUI, in order to give him or her a chance to turn his or her life around and learn to make better choices in the future.

This appears to have been the case of a Texas teenager, who faced serious prison time after a June drunk driving accident that killed four people. According to CNN, a witness claimed the wealthy teenager was a victim of "affluenza," whose parents never gave him any boundaries or consequences for his behavior. As a result, the boy made the decision to get behind the wheel after drinking, although his choices may have been different if his parents had taught him more responsibility.

Rather than receive any prison time, the boy was sentenced to 10 years of probation, during which he will not be allowed to have any alcohol or drugs. He must also go to a lock-down residential treatment facility for an unknown period of time. During his probation, the boy's driver's license will be revoked. If he violates his probation, he faces 10 years in prison.

The Effectiveness Of Alcohol Treatment Programs

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol-specific treatment programs have been shown to reduce drunk driving and accidents, as well as improve the long-term behavior of those convicted of a DUI. This type of treatment can be especially beneficial to underage drivers, who have their entire lives ahead of them.

While the Texas boy's case was extreme, many kids have been arrested for drunk driving before causing an accident that hurts others. The most recent numbers by the Century Council state that in 2011, 216 drivers under the age of 18 were arrested on DUI charges in New York. Treatment programs and penalties aimed to preventing further drunk driving could keep them from making the same decision again and causing a tragic accident that changes lives forever.

No parent wants to find out their child has been arrested for drinking and driving. By setting an example, it can be possible to teach kids responsible driving habits before they're old enough to have a license. These include:
- Never driving after having too much to drink.
- Encouraging teens to be honest and open with communication, and making sure they know they can call for a safe ride home if they've been drinking.
- Setting firm rules about driving, and enforcing consequences if the rules are broken.
- Teaching kids about the dangers of drinking and driving.

By setting boundaries and keeping communication open, parents can help their kids make better driving choices, which can help them avoid getting arrested for drunk driving.

However, it's easy for teens to give in to peer pressure or to think that they can just have a few drinks and nothing will happen. Teenagers who have been charged with a DUI have the right to be represented fairly in court.

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