A recent drunk driving incident made the internet rounds not because of the circumstances of the traffic stop or the arrest -- but because of the t-shirt the accused individual was wearing when his mug shot was taken.
Last week was the 30th anniversary of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which essentially forced states to bump up their minimum drinking age to 21 unless they wanted to miss out on highway funding from the federal government. For the most part, this law came into existence because of a critical social and health problem: people between the ages of 16 and 20 were the most common drunk drivers, and in 1982 roughly 61 percent of fatal car accidents involved a "young driver."
Not only do underage drinkers have a reputation for overdoing it, a new study suggests they are also fairly particular about what they imbibe when they decide to go overboard.
Engaging in underage drinking may be viewed by some as a rite of passage for those under the age of 21. North Carolina law does not share that point of view and neither do the police who enforce the law. The consequences for a person who is under the age of 21 who gets arrested for an alcohol-related crime can be greater than you think and long lasting. A strong defense is called for.
Authorities accuse an 18-year-old Bunnlevel, North Carolina, woman of a provisional DWI offense after she was allegedly involved in a fatal car accident on Thursday. However, the teen could face additional charges in the future as law enforcement continues to investigate the wreck. Police say that toxicology tests have been ordered to search for substances that may be used as evidence against the teen.
North Carolina enforces underage drinking laws with vigor. An underage alcohol offense can lead to a criminal record for a person under the age of 21. But, there are other areas where allegations of an alcohol offense may lead to criminal charges.
Last week we discussed the new task force that is being created to seek new ways to control underage drinking in North Carolina. Among the areas that authorities will pursue is a continuing effort to enforce laws covering alcohol-related offenses. As we have previously discussed, alcohol-related tickets can have long-term impact upon a student convicted of an alcohol offense.
Gov. Pat McCrory made a stop at East Carolina University Tuesday where he unveiled his proposal to reduce underage drinking in North Carolina. The governor says that drinking should not be considered a rite of passage.
State officials met last week to discuss ways to address several issues that may affect teens and college students in North Carolina. Among the issues that law enforcement and the state attorney general discussed were underage drinking, prescription pills (and other drugs), as well as the processing of toxicology tests in the crime lab.
The spring season also brings spring break, the prom season, followed by the high school and college graduation seasons in North Carolina. Each year, associated with these events, young people find themselves hauled into court on underage drinking and driving, or the more traditional driving while impaired charges in North Carolina.