According to a recent study conducted by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), while a large number of underage drinking deaths are caused by drunk driving, the majority of underage deaths that are a result of alcohol are caused by other factors. While teenage drinking and driving is a very serious issue it is crucial to realize that even if underage people are drinking and are not driving there is still a serious danger to their safety and to the safety of others.
US News reports that while teenage drinking and driving does account for about 32 percent of the 4,700 underage drinking related deaths, there are many other dangers that lead to death that can arise out of underage drinking. For example, the study showed that about 30 percent of these underage alcohol related deaths were murders, about 14 percent were suicides, about 9 percent were related to alcohol poisoning and the remaining 15 percent were various other types of causes.
The above statistics show that it is important for parents not to only speak to their children about the dangers of drinking and driving but also of the reasons that it is not safe to drink underage even if the young person is not driving. Please talk to your kids about these risks and dangers in addition to the dangers of drinking and driving. According to The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in addition to the dangers and risk of death associated with underage drinking, studies have shown that underage drinkers also tend to have more trouble in school and are more likely to be victims of other violent crimes (including rape, aggravated assault and battery).
While these other types of alcohol related deaths are not limited to underage drinkers alone, the incidence of these alternate types of alcohol-related deaths is much higher with underage drinkers than with legal age drinkers. While it may seem difficult or uncomfortable to talk to your children about drinking, or you may believe that your children are too young to need to hear about the dangers of drinking, studies have shown that talking to children at young ages (even as early as 10) can have a more lasting impact and these lessons will be better implanted in young adults as they start to face situations where they are tempted by alcohol. Also, unfortunately many young children face pressure to try drinking at much younger ages than their parents realize.
In addition to protecting your own children, it is important to discuss these issues with your children to help insure that they are not in situations where they may injure others as a result of their underage drinking. Many young children do not realize that drinking at a young age may not only hurt themselves but also could lead to them hurting others as well as themselves.
If you or your child suffered personal injuries as the result of another’s actions while drinking please contact our office to discuss what legal options and remedies may be available to you and your loved ones. Please call today to make sure that you do not miss the chance to hold the person responsible for the injury liable for their actions.