Though drinking itself may be illegal until they turn 21, teenagers still get arrested for impaired driving. What are some of the factors that contribute to this and make a teenage drunk driving incident more likely?
One reason is peer pressure. A teen may want to impress a peer group or at least not let anyone down, so he or she may feel afraid to say it is unsafe to drive. In other cases, teens may directly pressure someone to drive — for instance, by telling them that they have to because they are the least intoxicated person at the party. Peer pressure has a huge impact on teens, and they will do things that they later regret.
Another potential reason is the illegality of drinking itself. An adult may call someone for a ride or call a cab, but a teen may be hesitant to do so. He or she knows that being intoxicated is enough to get arrested. Even when a teen knows it may be the safest option to call a parent for a ride home, doing so means admitting that he or she was drinking. Teens will take serious risks to avoid legal ramifications and punishments at home.
Finally, teens just lack real-world experience and often do not look at risks the same way that adults do. They may feel invincible, like nothing bad can possibly happen to them. This is especially true when they have only been driving for a short time.
As you can see, the reasons a teen can end up facing drunk driving charges are complex and important to understand. It is also critical for teens to understand both the legal defense options they have and their rights under Florida law.