Underage DWI fatalities are decreasing

Our readers in Maryland may have heard that underage DWI fatalities have decreased over the past decade, but there are still far too many that slip through the cracks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started keeping records in 1982 for people under 21. From 1991 to 2012, there was a 60 percent reduction in the number of people killed in drunk driving fatalities.

There were 1.3 people out of 100,000 people under the age of 21 who died in drunk driving accidents. This equates to a decline of about 46 percent in the last 10 years.

The problem is that even though there has been a reduction in the number of underage DWI fatalities, there is still an average of three underage individuals who are killed each day because of a drunk driver, who might have been the underage victim.

In Maryland, the percent of underage alcohol-impaired driving fatalities dropped 7.4 percent. There have only been three states, and Washington D.C., that didn’t see a decrease in the number of under 21 alcohol-impaired drunk driving fatalities.

Underage drinking continues to be a problem and legislators in many states are working to find ways to promote awareness. Not only can a DWI affect underage drivers’ careers, but it can negatively impact choice of college and even where you live. According to the Maryland Sheriff’s Association, Inc., many of those who are under the age of 21 simply do not “recognize the lethal combination of alcohol and driving.”

If you find yourself or a loved one charged with DWI in Maryland, it’s imperative that a strong defense is presented. There is simply too much at stake.

Source: The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, “Underage Drunk Driving Fatalities (Under 21)” accessed Mar. 18, 2015