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Timing and role models contribute to underage DUIs

The law doesn't discriminate when it comes to age and drunk driving charges. If a teenager is charged with underage DUI in Tennessee, he or she has a lot at risk. A drunk driving conviction can have a significant impact on anyone's life. 

A study recently published in Pediatrics identifies the young drivers who are more likely to be arrested for impaired driving. Researchers followed about 2,500 kids through high school and surveyed them regarding their drinking, driving and drinking and driving behaviors. The study suggests some pretty simple trends:

Teens do what they see

The study indicates that the teens who saw others drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs were significantly more likely to do so themselves. Researchers didn't specify whether the model drivers were parents, family or friends. They just found that those who were passengers in vehicles driven by impaired drivers were much likelier to drive while impaired, too. 

Early licensure is a risk

The age difference among high-school students might seem like a big deal to kids at the time, but in the grand scheme of life, a couple of years between people make little difference. In regards to this DUI study, however, those years or even months can make a difference in the likelihood of a DUI Arrest. 

Researchers found that the subjects who got their driver's licenses earlier than others reported more incidents of driving while impaired. The explanations behind that DUI trend could be a simple matter of time. More time on the road means more chances to drink and drive.

Whatever teen drunk driving trends might exist, they don't change what is important if a teen or anyone else is arrested for DUI. Tennessee has a no-tolerance stance on underage drinking and underage DUI. A conviction could taint a teen's criminal record for his or her whole life. A drunk driving defense lawyer can help mitigate the impact of a DUI arrest on a kid's future.

Source: USA Today, "Riding with impaired drivers increases teens' DWI risks," Michelle Healy, March 17, 2014

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