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The Challenger

Careless Crashing

Teens vs. Drunk Driving

Rylin Kleese, Design Editor

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Teens are twice as likely to die in a car crash than adults 21 and over, according to the Drinking and Driving organization. But the question is why? Drunk driving.

Driving is such a major part of teen lives. Driving is practically a necessity because it means you don’t have to rely on your parents. In addition, getting a license gives a feeling of sudden freedom. It is perhaps the first thing that makes most teens FEEL like adults.

But why do teens risk this freedom by driving drunk?

Some students believe that drunk drivers think they are invincible and fine. Seven percent of all licensed drivers are between 15 and 20 years old, but 15% of all fatal crashes involve that same age group. That’s a huge number.

“When someone is swerving back and forth between lanes I assume they are driving drunk and try to avoid them,” junior Elvir Kerelaj said.

Teens believe that nothing can happen to them while they are in a car and that the car will protect them, but a car isn’t as protective as people think. A car is like a pop can in a crash because it just crunches.

“I was in a car with someone that was drunk and it was very scary because my life was in their hands and I had no control over it,” junior Hannah Blackford said.

The fact is that some people just don’t remember driving is a privilege, not a right. Reckless driving can lead to the privilege being suspended or revoked; all it takes is one second to mess up, which is why it’s important to always be careful.

“People think they can drive when they are drunk. They also don’t want to find another ride to take them home. They don’t want the shame in not being able to drive themselves home and they don’t ever think about the risks of a crash,” Kerelaj said

Teens need to think about the consequences and punishments of drinking and driving. The Drinking and Driving organization suggests teens think about the 3 F’s – Family, Friends, and Future. For example, a DUI can come back and haunt you. Colleges and employers ask if you have been convicted of a crime and you must report it.

A DUI at any age will mess with anyone’s LICENSE, INSURANCE, and SCHOOL or JOB. But penalties for drunk driving everywhere are HARSHER on teens. MORE jail, HIGHER fines, LONGER license suspension, the list goes on.

As the weather gets nicer, just remember the 3 F’s – family, friends and future – while you are driving. Your family, friends and future are important – so be careful and vigilant on the road.

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