Earlier this week, we posted about a Wisconsin teenager who has been charged with four felonies for allegedly killing a man during a drunk-driving car accident. If convicted, the 18-year-old girl could spend up to 37 years in prison.
The timing of this incident serves as a sobering reminder for all Wisconsin teens. During the next few months Wisconsin high school students will be celebrating proms, graduations and the parties which accompany both. Unfortunately, these events often provide opportunities for underage drinking and drunk driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that alcohol-related car accidents increase during the months of April, May and June. It is no coincidence that these are also the peak months for prom and graduation parties.
Wisconsin Police will be on high alert during the next few months, and it is a safe bet that Waukesha County Police are paying attention to the dates of local proms and graduations.
Because of Wisconsin's zero-tolerance laws a driver under the age of 21 may be issued a DUI if he has any alcohol in his system. An underage DUI might include a suspension of his driver's license and other penalties.
On a more personal level, the post from earlier this week shows us that drinking and driving can result in more than just legal consequences. According to the organization Students Against Destructive Decisions, alcohol-related car accidents account for 36 percent of traffic deaths for students ages 15 to 20.
So as you celebrate prom and graduation this year, please do so responsibly. Enjoy all you have accomplished, and make sure a bad decision doesn't keep you from enjoying a bright future.
Source: Courierpress.com, "Prom, graduation season accelerates dangers of underage drinking, drugs," Nichole White, 04 April 2011