Drunk Driving Declines For Those Not Permitted To Drink

According to the Columbus Dispatch, drunk driving fell 54 percent in the past two decades…among teens. This conclusion was reached in a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The primary reasons for the decline of teen drunk driving are reported to be increased gas prices, decreased underage drinking, and tougher laws for underage alcohol consumption.

It’s good to hear there have been decreases in both underage drunk driving and underage alcohol consumption. It’s noteworthy, however, that the C.D.C. report was based on self reporting by the teens and apparently did not include college students.

In Ohio, drunk driving by teens can result in several different offenses. First, if the teen’s driving ability is impaired, he can be prosecuted for a standard Ohio O.V.I. (D.U.I.). Second, if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is over .08, she can be prosecuted for Ohio O.V.I. (D.U.I.) per se. Third, if a driver under 21 has a blood alcohol concentration over .02 (but under .08), the driver may be prosecuted for O.V.U.A.C. (Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption).

You may be thinking “teens aren’t supposed to be drinking alcohol anyway…shouldn’t there be a separate punishment for that?” There is. In addition to the offenses mentioned above, a person under 21 who is caught driving drunk will likely be charged with Underage Alcohol Consumption as well.

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