When we think about people getting a DUI or causing an accident because they were drinking, we usually think about adults of legal drinking age. Sadly, there has been an alarming increase in minors under the age of 21 causing and suffering from alcohol-related accidents.
On average, around twenty drivers and passengers between the ages of 16 and 20 are killed in alcohol-related accidents each year in Virginia, and over 400 are injured.
Not only are teens risking their own lives and their friends' lives when they drink and drive, but they are also putting other motorists at risk. If you were injured or a loved one was killed by a teen drunk driver in Culpeper or Warrenton, our team of personal injury lawyers will take on this difficult case to hold the driver accountable.
Why Teens Drink and Drive in Virginia
Underage drinking is not a new problem. For as long as teenagers have had the luxury of free time, they have looked for ways to have fun with their friends. Unfortunately, this often means drinking alcohol. Because teenagers are not mature enough to realize the potential consequences of getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after drinking, their decision can ruin their lives and the lives of the people around them. Some reasons teens drive after drinking include:
- Fear of getting in trouble. Because calling parents for a ride often means getting into serious trouble, teens will take the risk of driving while intoxicated rather than choosing the safer option of asking a parent for help.
- Drinking in remote locations. Teens often seek remote, outdoor locations for parties involving alcohol since they cannot drink legally in a bar, restaurant, or someone's home. This means finding ways to get to and from the location, which means driving.
- Peer pressure. Even teens who want to drink responsibly are pressured into taking risks to look cool. No teen wants to volunteer to be the designated driver for fear of being teased or bullied.
- Lack of common sense. Teens do not have enough experience with alcohol to understand their limits. In fact, their brains simply are not developed enough to make smart decisions all the time.
Teenagers are curious, and their curiosity when it comes to alcohol can get them into big trouble. Virginia has a zero-tolerance policy, meaning that a teen cannot have any alcohol in their system if they are pulled over and issued a breath test. While this may scare some teens into waiting until they’re of legal age to try alcohol, many of them still get their hands on it. Unfortunately, these moments of fun with their friends can lead to devastating consequences.
We Help Victims of Drunk Driving Crashes
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Virginia auto accident, we are here to help. Whether you were hit by a teen drunk driver or your child was a passenger in the car of a minor who was drinking and crashed, we can help you hold them accountable for your losses.
Contact Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas for more information about your rights to compensation after a serious drunk driving accident.