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Teens can avoid drunk driving charges

Drunk driving charges are serious for anyone of any age, and the resulting consequences of a conviction can range from loss of a driver's license to time spent in jail. For teens, drunk driving charges can derail a lot of plans; convictions could result in losing school standing, loss of freedom or even loss of opportunities when it comes to future jobs or college. As a teen, there are ways to avoid drunk driving charges.

The most obvious way to avoid such charges is not to drink and drive, but unfortunately there are examples of drivers being charged with DUI even though they were sober at the time. No system is completely infallible, so if you end up facing DUI charges, it's a good idea to have a criminal law professional on your side so you can avoid conviction.

To hedge your bets, avoid getting behind the wheel if you've been drinking or using drugs of any type. For teens, these types of scenarios often occur when you've been at a party or out with friends. It's not cool to hide your inebriation just so you can drive away from an outing, and it's certainly not cool to put you and your friends at risk. Instead, tell your friends that you don't think you should drive and see if you can find another solution. These are good tips for adults too.

Some solutions proposed by the National Institute of Health include calling a cab or Uber, getting a ride with someone who hasn't been drinking or crashing at the party until your body is clear of alcohol. Sometimes that means sleeping it off on a couch or friend's floor. The NIH also suggests you might consider calling your parents; parents can increase the chance of this happening with open communication about alcohol and drunk driving.

Source: NIDA for Teens, "Four Tips to Avoid Drinking, Drugs, and Driving," Sara Bellum, accessed Jan. 26, 2017

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