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Drunk driving still a problem among young adults

Drunk driving accidents have been on the decline in recent years, thanks to safety campaigns and stricter laws. However, as the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office recently reported, young people are still the most likely demographic to be involved in a drunk driving accident.

What the data shows

According to data, 23 percent of all drunk driving-related crashes on Oklahoma's roads in 2014 involved drivers within the 18 to 24 age range, and a total of 825 drivers between 18 and 24 were involved in drunk driving accidents that year.

The numbers look similar at a national level, as one out of every three impaired drivers involved in fatal car accidents were between 21 and 24 years old in 2013.

Why young people drink and drive

Aspects that make young people especially susceptible to drunk driving accidents is the fact that they are less-experienced drivers compared to older drivers, they often demonstrate riskier behavior compared to older drivers and they might not fully understand the consequences of their actions, the chairman of the Governor's Impaired Driving Advisory Council said.

An Oklahoma college student who was interviewed said he doesn't know of many people his age who drink and drive, but he said the lack of public transportation in the state could be contributing to the problem as young people choose to drive drunk in order to get home from bars and parties.

What the chairman of the Impaired Driving Advisory Council said is that young people must understand how driving impaired -- whether it is by alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription drugs -- can affect their lives and the lives of others.

The risks of drunk driving

Not only do young people risk the legal consequences of a DUI, they could also potentially kill themselves, their passengers and others on the roadways. In fact, in 2014 alone there were 38 people killed in crashes involving a driver between 18 and 24 with an alcohol-related driver condition.

As a law firm that represents victims of drunk driving accidents and their families, we cannot stress enough how serious impaired driving is. It can be a sure way of ruining a young person's life as well as the lives of others.

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