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Dangers of an underage DUI

The rate of alcohol-related car crashes in Pennsylvania has slowly declined. In 2012, nearly 12,000 injuries took place as a result of drunk driving. In 2015, that number was around 10,500. That information comes from the Pennsylvania DUI Association.

Jail time, fines and additional consequences exist for adults charged with a DUI. For teenagers, even more dangers are present. There is a zero tolerance policy for anyone under the age of 21 who drinks and drives. Even if a teen only has a blood alcohol content level of 0.01, he or she still faces severe consequences in addition to the risk of injury or death. 

Jeopardized college applications

Teens need to state on college applications whether they have a criminal record. Some colleges may still admit applicants with a record, but for competitive institutions, a criminal record could be enough to make them pass over the applicant. Additionally, teens should avoid lying on an application, because most colleges perform background checks. In the event the college finds out an applicant lied, it could result in automatic disqualification. 

Difficulty getting a job

Most people get their first jobs when they are teenagers. However, a criminal record can prevent someone from getting a summer job. Similarly to college applications, most employers require applicants to state whether they have a criminal record. Additionally, background checks are also typically conducted. It could be a much more difficult job-hunting process. 

Social consequences

Most teenagers care deeply about their social lives. With a DUI, a teen may need to spend a lot of time in court. If there is a conviction, then the teen may need to spend weekends performing community service instead of doing homework or hanging out with friends. Teens have their whole lives in front of them, so it simply does not make sense to risk so much to drink and drive.