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What every New Jersey teen needs to know about drunk driving

One of the most tragic things about drunk driving accidents is that they are completely preventable. The fact of the matter is that drunk drivers are making a conscious decision to consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel. For most people the ability to delay immediate gratification and refrain from acting impulsively becomes stronger as we mature. However, there are many drivers who have never attained those skills. Sadly, many of those drivers are also teens with little driving experience.

The following are some facts and statistics about drunk driving that every young driver should know:

-- Time is really the only way to allow your body to detoxify from the effects of alcohol consumption. No amount of coffee, exercise or cold showers will sober you up quickly to the point where you are not too impaired to drive. It is also a fallacy that drinking certain types of alcohol will make you drunk for shorter periods of time than others.

-- If you are under 21 years old then you are not allowed to have any alcohol in your system while you are driving anywhere in the U. S. if you are caught, you could be subject to jail time and fines plus the loss of your license.

-- Drunk drivers kill people every day. In fact, it's estimated that a drunk driver kills someone in America every 53 minutes. When considered on average, that works out to be 27 unnecessary deaths every day.

-- Drunk drivers often go for long periods of time before they are caught. It's estimated that DUI offenders will get behind the wheel 80 times before their first arrest.

-- Currently, the leading cause of death for teenagers are traffic accidents. Approximately 1/3 of teen traffic accidents contained some elements of alcohol or other substances.

One thing that New Jersey teens need to remember is that state laws allow injured motorists to sue drunk drivers for compensation of their medical expenses and other costs. If you are a minor this could mean that your parents could incur liability for your actions. An attorney representing someone you injured while driving drunk could potentially sue your parents for your careless actions.

Source: DoSomething.org, "11 Facts About Driving Under the Influence," accessed May. 12, 2015

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