Beginning October 1, 2006, underage drivers who are charged with drunk driving will lose their driver’s license for 12 months. According to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, there were 9,090 motor vehicle-related accidents caused by drunk drivers in 2003. 12% of those accidents involved teen drivers. The previous penalty for underage drivers arrested for drunk driving was the revocation of their license for 6 months.
The tougher penalties were approved by the Maryland General Assembly in April 2006.
In 2003, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
· There were 12.5 million underage licensed drivers.
· 24% of underage drivers who were killed in motor vehicle-related accidents had BAC levels of .08 or higher.
· The rate of alcohol-related fatal crashes among underage drivers is two times the rate for drivers 21 and older.
According to the CDC:
· An alcohol-related motor vehicle crash kills someone every 31 minutes and injures someone every two minutes (NHTSA 2005).
· Each year, alcohol-related crashes in the United States cost about $51 billion
· Most drinking and driving episodes go undetected.
· In 2004, about 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. That’s less than one percent of the 159 million self-reported episodes of alcohol–impaired driving among U.S. adults each year (Quinlan et al. 2005).
· To further decrease alcohol-related fatal crashes, communities need to implement and enforce strategies that are known to be effective, such as sobriety checkpoints, 0.08% BAC laws, minimum legal drinking age laws, “zero tolerance” laws for young drivers, and others.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of a drunk driver or someone you love has been killed in a drunk driving accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Contact the law office of Lebowitz and Mzhen for more information.
New Drunk Driving Law Goes Into Effect, Hometown Annapolis.com, September 28, 2006
Tougher Laws For Underage Drunk Driving Take Effect Sunday, WBAL.com, September 29, 2006
DUI/DWI Statistics, DriversEd.com
Quick Facts About Drunk And Drugged Driving, CDC
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