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The young and the reckless

Denver's KMGH recently aired a report that claimed that 1 in 4 teenagers say they are willing to ride in a car driven by someone who has been drinking. One in 3 teens say they have ridden with a drunken driver in the past year.

According to a survey taken by Mothers Against Drunk Drive and an insurance company, the teenagers are often riding with a parent or guardian. Twenty-eight percent of those teens who have ridden with an intoxicated driver in the past year reported that they were with dad, mom or a guardian. Thirteen percent said another family member was drunk behind the wheel.

In those cases in which a parent or guardian is driving, they are posing not only a danger to themselves and the teenager in the vehicle, but they are also at great risk of substantial legal trouble if they are pulled over by a Colorado State Trooper or Denver police officer.

Consider, too, that teenage drivers who consume alcohol don't need to drink much in order to be in violation of state law. Colorado says if you are under 21 and driving, your BAC (blood alcohol content) can be as low as .02 percent for you to be taken in for underage DUI. Remember, the legal threshold for those age 21 and above is .08 percent.

A spokesperson for MADD's Colorado office said that 90 percent of teenagers surveyed say they are willing to discuss with their peers better choices regarding drinking and driving.

For parents of teens arrested for underage DUI, that discussion has no doubt already taken place. While you want your son or daughter to recognize their error, you don't want them haunted for years by the mistake. An experienced DUI defense attorney can help protect your child's future in hearings at the DMV and in court.


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