Teen drinking at parties has surged in recent years, leading to a staggering rise in the number of underage drunk-driving arrests, accidents, and fatalities. Many people attribute this sudden increase to the fact that it easier for underage individuals to obtain alcohol than it perhaps has ever been before. A recent study found that 53% of eighth graders and 71% of tenth graders say it's “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get alcohol. And there are devastating consequences to this—in one year alone, over 180,000 underage drinkers are sent to the emergency room; with many of these coming on prom nights all around the country.
One reason for this may be recent legislation that allows business to deliver alcohol straight to your door. The state of Washington made this practice legal back in 2012, adding hard alcohol and spirits to the list which had already legalized the delivery of beer and wine direct to your door. And while delivery drivers are supposed to ID the purchaser at the door when they arrive, they don't always do so. As a result, underage individuals are able to obtain alcohol illegally with minimal effort and no parental interference or assistance.
An investigative report from Jeff Rossen of NBC's TODAY set up an experiment where a 13-year old girl answered the door for alcohol deliveries. The crew did everything in their power to make it seem as though she was home alone. They also coached her to say she didn't have an ID on her. While many of the delivery drivers turned around and refused to hand over the product, one driver handed it over without asking to see an ID and another still handed over the alcohol anyway even after the young girl told him she didn't have ID!
In total, the experiment saw four bottles of wine, two bottles of champagne, and a bottle of tequila all placed directly into the hands of a 13 year old.
Underage DUI Law
Thanks to this surge in underage drinking, law enforcement are cracking down on drunk driving all across the state, particularly with underage individuals. Authorities have gone to schools around the country and put on simulated drunk driving accident scenes to try to show kids the consequences of drinking and driving, and while the reenactments are highly realistic, the problem still persists.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is against the law for everyone, but the limit for those under the legal drinking age of 21 is significantly lower and the penalties can be severe. This includes the possibility of being jailed for a minimum of 24 hours, a fine of at least $941, and up to two years' probation. It can also result in a license suspension for anywhere between 90 days and two years for an arrest (and up to four years if convicted).
If you or your teenager are facing a DUI charge, it's imperative you don't face the possible life-changing penalties without a powerful ally on your side. My Name is Mark Garka, and at my firm, the Law Office of Mark W. Garka, PLLC, my team and I are prepared to fight to protect your rights. As a former prosecutor, I used to stand on the other side of the courtroom, and today I use that experience to protect those who are facing the harshness of the criminal justice system. I have helped hundreds of clients navigate their case, and I have been recognized as a leader in DUI law practice. I also have a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from Avvo, which serves as a testament to my exceptional client service ethical practices.
I offer free, no-risk case evaluations and 24/7 availability! If you've been arrested for a DUI, call the Law Office of Mark W. Garka, PLLC today at 888.252.1961 to get started with your case.