A recent survey reveals that Pennsylvania is one of the safest states for teen drivers. One of the factors taken into account is the level of teen drunk driving, a pervasive problem nationwide. In the comparative ratings of all states, Pennsylvania has moved up four spots from last year, giving it the number three spot on the list.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a leading cause of death among teenagers is motor vehicle crashes, 35 percent of which involve alcohol. Partly due to this staggering statistic, all states have mandated that a lower blood alcohol content of just 0.00 to 0.02 percent is required to constitute a criminal DUI offense for drivers under the age of 21.
These zero-tolerance laws aim to decrease underage drinking and the number of fatal car accidents associated with such alcohol consumption. They also help to protect young drivers from the long-term consequences of a DUI.
A DUI can reflect poorly on background checks when attempting to obtain employment and can negatively affect car insurance rates. It can remain on one's driving record for years and, if compounded with another infraction, can even result in driver's license suspension.
Pennsylvania has taken a huge step in the right direction as it is now considered one of the safest states for young drivers. One likely reason for this is the Graduated Driver License program which gradually advances teen drivers from a learner's permit to an unrestricted driver's license. Each stage of the process is accompanied by exams, supervised driving or temporary restrictions such as the number of passengers allowed in the car and the hours during which a license holder can drive.
It is important for parents as well as young drivers to be aware of the laws concerning drinking and driving and the consequences for driving under the influence. For those already facing drunk driving charges, it may be wise to seek counsel of an attorney who has familiarity with the court system and can advocate for the best possible outcome.
Source: CBS Philly, Teen Driver Safety Ratings Up in Pennsylvania, Kim Glovas, May 13, 2017