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Risks for Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Arizona Skyrocket through Spring Break

Nearly 70 percent of teens in Arizona say that they drink alcohol with underage friends and while attending parties with these underage friends, according to a study conducted by the Arizona Underage Drinking Prevention Committee (UAD Committee). What most parents may fail to recognize is that their teen can get their hands on alcohol and many of these teens will drink it and get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Phoenix personal injury attorneys recommend that parents talk with their teen. Talk to them about the dangers of drinking and driving before we hit Spring Break.As a matter of fact, almost 35 percent of teen drivers who were killed in a car accident in Phoenix and elsewhere in 2009 were under the influence of alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). With assistance from parents and guardians, we can educate our young drivers to help to reduce their risks for these kinds of accidents.

We ask for help from parents because according to the study from the UAD Committee, about half of the 1,000 Arizona parents who were surveyed said that they thought it was okay to serve underage youth alcohol as long as they were under the supervision of a parent or guardian. Another 40 percent admitted to knowing another adult who had provided alcohol to a person who was under the age of 21.

Regardless of who is to blame for their access to alcohol, it’s important to talk with your teen about the risks and dangers associated with drinking and also with drinking and driving. This is especially important as we head into Spring Break.

According to The Wall Street Journal, hospitalizations regarding underage drinkers totaled more than $750 million in 2008. The Mayo Clinic reports that there were nearly 40,000 admissions for alcohol-related incidents among underage youth in the country during that year. These admissions were for conditions including alcohol withdrawal, intoxication, dependence, abuse and other alcohol-related problems.

According to Terry Schneekloth, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Mayo, about a quarter of all of the admissions were injury-related and most times these injuries were the result of alcohol-related car accidents. These admissions resulted in more than $500 million.

When looking more closely into those underage persons who were admitted into the hospital in 2008, more than 60 percent of them were males. Even though a majority were male though, the number of female admissions is increasing steadily. For this reason, all parents are asked to talk with their teens about these dangers. We’re asking you to do this before that much-anticipated school break is here — Spring Break. During this time, the risks for these kinds of accidents will skyrocket for your teen. Let’s prepare them to have a safe and injury free break.

If you or the young driver in your family has been injured or killed in an alcohol-related car accident in Arizona, contact us online or call (602) 819-5191 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. There are no lawyer fees unless a recovery is made on your behalf.

Additional Resources:

The (Partial) Cost of Underage Drinking, by Katherine Hobson, The Wall Street Journal
More Blog Entries:

Teen Car Accidents in Arizona Up Despite National Decrease, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, February 25, 2012

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