If you are the parent of a teenager, one of the milestones you both look forward to and dread is your child driving. On the one hand, it sure takes the pressure off of you to be a chauffeur. On the other hand, teenage drivers are notoriously over-represented in crashes. Moreover, teenage drivers are much more likely to drink and driver than most parents believe. In Nebraska, a minor who is caught drinking and driving is subject to Nebraska’s “zero tolerance” law which essentially prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from operating a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in his/her system. As the parent of a teenage driver, you should know some of the following facts compiled by the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety (NOHS) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) relating to teenage driving:
- Teenage drivers in Nebraska represent 7.1 percent of all drivers
- 71 percent of all teenage drivers involved in a fatal crash were not wearing a seat belt in 2013.
- A teenage driver was involved in 21 percent of all reported collisions in 2013.
- 10 percent of all alcohol related crashes involved a teenage driver in 2013
- 37 percent of “exceeding the speed limit” crashes involved a teenage driver in 2013.
- 1 in 6 teens binge drink, yet only 1 in 100 parents believes his/her teen binge drinks.
- Teen alcohol use kills 4,700 people each year – more than all illegal drugs combined.
- Teenagers who start drinking are 7 times more likely to be in a crash.
- Almost half of all 10th graders drink alcohol
Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6, 211.01 is where the state’s “zero tolerance” law can be found. The law makes it unlawful for any person under twenty-one years of age to operate or be in the actual physical control of any motor vehicle if the individual has a breath or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02 percent or higher. As you can see, the bar has been lowered significantly for underage drivers from the 0.08 percent required to convict and adult. If convicted of underage drinking and driving your child could lose his/her driving privileges for 30 days or longer for a second violation. In addition, your liability insurance rates will increase dramatically if you are required to insure a teenage driver convicted of driving under the influence.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Nebraska, or you have a child who has been charged with an alcohol related driving offense, contact the Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney.