Drunk driving is dangerous for several reasons. Alcohol increases your reaction time and the risk of you falling asleep at the wheel. It also impairs your judgment, which could lead to an improper maneuver and a collision.
The effect of alcohol on a driver’s judgment is of particular concern if that driver already has minimal experience at the wheel. Teen drivers who drink before driving could cause crashes that hurt someone else. Some teenagers will die because they get behind the wheel after drinking.
Unless consumed for religious purposes, it is illegal for those under 21 to drink alcohol. Plenty still do, and some of those young adults will take the risk of driving after they drink. In an attempt to deter teens from deciding to drive after drinking, Colorado has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol and underage drivers.
How does the zero-tolerance policy work?
When the police suspect that someone driving is under the influence of alcohol, they will usually perform field sobriety tests and a chemical breath test. The chemical breath test helps to establish the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the driver.
For most drivers who are old enough to legally drink, the limit for their BAC is 0.08%. Those who test higher than that are likely to face arrest and criminal charges. They can also face charges if they are below the legal limit but showed significant signs of impairment while driving.
If police officers suspect that a teenager has consumed alcohol recently, they will perform the same tests they would on an adult driver. However, the standard for breaking the law is much lower. Any teenager with a BAC of 0.02% or higher could wind up arrested and charged with an underage DUI offense.
A DUI is not just a youthful mistake
Although teenagers have a reputation for taking risks and pushing boundaries, impaired driving allegations are not something that society will just turn a blind eye to. If a teenager gets convicted, their charges could affect their life for years to come, even if they never repeat the same mistake.
Educating your children about the risks of driving after consuming any alcohol could help. If your child gets into a difficult situation anyway, helping them defend against the charges can protect their future.