This year, it is estimated that more than 10,000 people will be killed in DUI related auto accidents – that's one death every 50 minutes. While this may seem surprising, the number of underage DUI arrests are even more disturbing. Drunk driving is a pervasive and deadly problem in the United States. Even more disconcerting is the number of underage DUI related accidents. Car accidents are the number cause for teen deaths in the United States, and one in three of these fatal accidents are the direct result of underage DUI. In fact, about 6,000 teens die every year because of underage drinking.
Underage drinking and driving is prevalent problem. Just recently, a former Miss Arizona Teen USA was officially charged with a DUI after she was arrested earlier last month. Miss Arizona was pulled over several weeks ago, not because the police suspected that she was drunk, but because she pulled an illegal U-turn. As police approached the vehicle, it is reported that the young woman appear to be intoxicated. After administering a field sobriety test, police officers concluded that she was driving under the influence and arrested her for DUI.
The young pageant contestant now faces up to six months in jail for two counts of DUI. Because she is only 18, she may also lose her driver's license for a year. The use of Alcohol is widely considered acceptable to many teens in American society. In the past 30 days, it is estimated that 24% of young people between the ages of 12 and 20 used alcohol. Of all the teens killed in car accidents in 2004, 25% of them were intoxicated. These statistics are staggering, so law enforcement and local organizations across the country are trying to raise awareness about the dangers of underage drinking and driving.