North Carolina Teen Driver DUI
Teenage Drunk Driver Cause Your Car Crash?
Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Explains DWI/DUI Laws in NC
Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal nationwide because it seriously increases the risk of a car accident. When the drunk driver is a teenager, the danger of severe injuries and wrongful death in a drunk driving accident increases even more. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 are 17 times more likely to die in drunk driving accidents than if they had not been drinking. Additionally, 1 in 10 high school students reports drinking and driving. As a result, the North Carolina Department of Transportation records an average of over 1,300 alcohol-related crashes involving teen drivers each year. These car accidents result in an average of 20 deaths and 730 injuries to teens annually.
Underage drinking is a serious offense that can endanger other motorists as well as the passengers in the teen driver’s vehicle. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due a teenaged drunk driver, the victim may be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages and more. A drunk driving accident lawyer from Riddle & Brantley, can assist you in filing your personal injury claim. We will also monitor any criminal proceedings for charges brought against the underage drunk driver, which may help your case. We can use the defendant’s plea in the criminal case to prove liability in your claim for damages.
Teen Drinking and Driving Statistics
As motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death amongst teenagers, much research has been done in regards to why teens are so heavily involved in fatal and injury-related car wrecks.
The following are a few statistics from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), the CDC, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Across the country, teenagers drink and drive approximately 2.4 million times every month.
- Over 25 percent of teenage drivers killed in car accidents are driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Of all drivers involved in fatal drunk driving accidents, 40 percent are underage.
- 56 percent of teens involved in fatal drinking and driving accidents were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision.
- 30 percent of teens admit to being a passenger of a teen driver who had been drinking.
- Over 350 teens die each year as passengers in drunk driving accidents. In over half of these accidents, the drunk driver was also underage.
- 10 percent of teens admit to driving after drinking.
Additionally, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration, drugged driving has now overtaken drunk driving as a leading cause of car accidents. As of 2015, up to 43 percent of all car crashes involve drugs.
What If My Teenager Was a Victim in the Car Driven by Another Teenage Drunk Driver?
We encounter a lot of cases where the driver and passengers are all teenagers and all are drinking before the wreck. In these cases, the insurance company may claim that no one should recover because all passengers contributed to the accident or assumed the risk as they were all drinking together. We disagree because we place liability on those responsible for providing the alcohol to the underage teens.
In some cases, the passengers believe that the driver is sober and did not see the driver drink. We investigate these wrecks thoroughly to determine who, what, when and where the drinking occurred in an effort to prove that our injured teens are entitled to recover. If your teenager was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a teenager driving while impaired, we encourage you to call us immediately. We will investigate to determine how the teens got the alcohol and the identity of the providers of the alcohol. We have successfully handled many cases like these and can use this experience to help you.
What are the Laws Concerning Teenage Drunk Driving?
In North Carolina, as in all states, the legal drinking age is 21. North Carolina also has zero tolerance for underage drinkers. This means that if a teen driver has any blood alcohol content in their system, then the driver will face immediate charges. By contrast, those over 21 may face drunk driving charges if they have a BAC over 0.08 percent.
Furthermore, those under 21 years of age may face license suspension of between 30 days and 1 year for:
- Purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol
- Using a fraudulent license or ID to purchase alcohol
- Using someone else’s identification or license to purchase alcohol
Having alcohol in your possession or attempting to purchase it when you are less than 21 years of age can also result in a fine. Further penalties for driving while impaired or under the influence include jail time, fines and an extended license suspension. These consequences generally depend on the extent of the injuries and damages caused by the car accident. The level of the driver’s impairment is also a factor. Additionally, any drunk driver who causes a fatal car accident may face intoxicated manslaughter charges.
Teen DWI or DUI Cause Your Injuries? Contact Our North Carolina Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Now
It is important that parents and guardians of teen drivers speak with them about the dangers of underage drinking and driving. Despite strict laws, many teens still find themselves facing pressure to drink and drive. Many teens may also be passengers of other teen drunk drivers as a result of peer pressure.
If you, your teen or a loved one sustained injuries in a car accident caused by an impaired teen driver, our attorneys can help. At Riddle & Brantley, we understand how important it is for all drivers to be safe but particularly teen drivers. We share a commitment to fighting for the rights of the injured, particularly those harmed by a careless driver.
We have several offices located throughout North Carolina and proudly serve the following areas:
We also serve many more local towns and cities. For more information on how a drunk driving accident lawyer from our law firm can help you with your personal injury claim, contact us at (800) 525-7111. You can also contact us online by filling out a free case review form.
We offer free initial consultations so that you can learn your legal rights with no obligation. Also, we work on a contingency basis. This means you only pay when we are successful in obtaining a recovery for you.