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Dangers of Underage Drinking

There is nothing positive about underage drinking. Teenagers sometimes get behind the wheel and drive under the influence which is a big issue. According to studies by the National Crime Prevention Council, automobile crashes related to underage drinking are the leading cause of death for teens. Approximately 36% of traffic deaths of 15- to 20-year-olds are alcohol-related. Something needs to be done to lower the amount of teen deaths due to underage drinking and awareness is the first step.

If a teen decides to drive under the influence, he or she is in direct violation of the zero-tolerance law, which means the loss of his or her license if caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 grams per deciliter.

Christina Fernandes said, “If you are willing to get into a car while intoxicated, you have to own up to the consequences.”

Moreover, a teenager can face fines for alcohol consumption, which leaves the parent of the underage drinker financially responsible in most cases. An alcohol-related driving offense will affect the insurance rates of teen drivers for years afterward. The Division of Motor Vehicles imposes a mandatory insurance surcharge that takes immediate effect, which can amount to as much as $3,500. Commonly, automobile insurance is also canceled, only to be repurchased at the highest rates

Youths who drink before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21. This is one of the huge reasons alcohol consumption is prohibited before the age of 21. Forty percent of children who start drinking before the age of 15 will become alcoholics at some point in their lives.

Drinking affects your grades in school. Alcohol is a depressant and will lower your inhibitions to do well. If a student doesn’t want to do well in school they will stop trying.

Lauren Fellner said, “I lost two friends this past summer due to drinking and driving and I could not concentrate in school in the beginning of the year. Drinking does not only effect the drinker but also people around them.”

Ultimately, alcohol can cause depression and possibly suicide. A survey by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism focusing on the alcohol-related problems experienced by 4,390 high school seniors and dropouts found that within the preceding year, approximately 80 percent reported either getting “drunk,” binge drinking, or drinking and driving. More than half said that drinking had caused them to feel sick, miss school or work, get arrested, or even have a car crash.

Mike Mattozi said, “I have witnessed many people get angry and violent while drinking, this can be a scary sight to watch.”

A large portion of violent crimes and vandalism among and by youths involves the use of alcohol. Excessive alcohol use can cause you to see double, slur speech, and lose your sense of distance. Drinking also makes unprotected sex more likely to occur. It is easily forgotten to use contraceptives while you’re drunk or to just use them incorrectly.

Tests have been conducted on young rats and it showed that alcohol slowed down puberty and caused bone growth to slow down. This caused the rats to have weak bones later in life. This is related to humans but is not as clear yet that the effect of alcohol is the same but it is very possible.

Underage drinking has many dangers that are incontrollable. It is becoming an epidemic within the United States and something needs to be done about it. These numbers are real. The risks are there and the consequences can be fatal. Teens still continue to drink and get behind the wheel, however. Awareness of the dangers of drinking needs to be raised in order for teens to begin considering why they should not drink.

source: The Falconaire

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