Graduation parties and prom: How many may face DWI or underage drinking?
As the seasons roll into spring, high school proms, high school and college end-of-year parties and graduation parties are scheduled all across North Carolina. Pitt County defense lawyers know that many students can face serious underage drinking or drunk driving charges at this time of year.
Recently, the Century Council, a not-for-profit organization funded by distillers to fight underage consumption and drunk driving, conducted a study on underage alcohol issues that found parental involvement can significantly reduce incidents of underage drinking.
The study shows that today’s youth are more aware of the issues that underage drinking can bring. Researchers with the Century Council say that 83 percent of 10 to 18-year-old students who have decided to avoid alcohol made the decision after speaking with a parent about alcohol.
The study shows that most discussions about alcohol use between a parent and child arise after an event occurs, such as:
- An event reporting an alcohol-related tragedy that is reported in the news
- A movie or television program raises an alcohol-related issue
- Someone that the family knows is charged with an alcohol-related offense
But even in families where alcohol-related issues are discussed, North Carolina youth can find themselves in a situation that may lead to alcohol charges. Charges for drunk driving, or underage possession and consumption, are not a finding of guilt.
Students in North Carolina who are cited for an underage alcohol offense, underage DUI or North Carolina DWI charges may have a valid defense to the allegations. It is important for students or parent s to consider reviewing individual charges with an experienced Greenville defense attorney. Criminal charges that result in conviction are made a part of a student’s permanent criminal record if the accused is age 16 or older in North Carolina.
Source: Keloland Television, “More Teens, Parents Discussing Alcohol Risks,” Shawn Neisteadt, April 4, 2012