Beebe and O'Neil

Report: Teens who witness drunk driving are likely to repeat it

Connecticut has strict laws in place that govern teenage drivers and alcohol. If a 16- or 17-year-old has a blood alcohol content of .02 or higher, he or she will face a license suspension period of at least one year. Unfortunately, teens in the state and across the country continue the behavior. One study found that these young drivers are actually more likely to get behind the wheel inebriated if they have been passengers in a vehicle with a drunk driver.

According to Live Science, a study published in Pediatrics took a look at approximately 2,500 high school students. The teenagers were asked, each year over the course of three years, about driving while intoxicated, both if they had done it and if they had been in a car with someone who had. Researchers found that roughly one in three sophomores reported that they had been in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver.

Further, the study compared teens who all three years reported riding with an impaired driver and those who never did. Researchers found the teens who had were an astounding 127 times more likely to drive drunk by the time he or she reached senior year.

This is a serious concern, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that the risk of getting into a motor vehicle accident is higher for younger people than it is for older people, no matter what level of blood alcohol concentration a driver has. As the study suggests, it is imperative for parents not only to set good examples, but also to ensure that their children are surrounded by positive influences. The CDC recommends that parents asks teen drivers to sign a pledge to avoid risky behaviors, including driving while drinking or distracted.

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