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Teens charged with drunk driving still may face stiff penalties

Particularly in holiday and celebratory seasons, many teens in Georgia find themselves in situations where alcohol is readily available. Because teens have access to their own vehicles in today's society, the instances of teens charged with drunk driving have increased. One of the most important factors concerning this, however, is exactly how alcohol affects the teenage brain, and causes many more opportunities for serious accidents when teens consume.

First, it is important to recognize that teens typically consume alcohol in order to become intoxicated, not to just enjoy a glass of wine or beer with a meal. This is not to say that adults do not engage in this behavior, but the act of binge drinking has a different effect on the mind of young adults. Per a recent article, the current definition of binge drinking is consuming four or more drinks within an hour.

According to a pediatric emergency room physician in Atlanta, the adolescent mind is not fully developed in the area that controls a child's judgment. While many would agree that teenagers do not have good judgment skills in general, it is actually due to their brains not being fully developed. Introducing alcohol to that equation can make this situation worse.

The consumption of alcohol by any person, at whatever age, can cause issues with concentration, motor coordination, reaction time, balance and attention. In teenagers, all of these issues can be compounded by their general cognitive development. In addition, with the easy access to vehicles, many teenagers decide to take to the roads. More than just a few are arrested for drunk driving after causing devastating accidents.

When young adults are arrested for drunk driving, most parents in Georgia turn to a criminal defense attorney for assistance. The result of having a charge on a minor's record -- or even worse, if they are charged with an even more serious crime and sent to a juvenile facility -- can be life-altering. An attorney can carefully evaluate the circumstances of each case and perhaps help get the charge reduced so that the teen can move forward to the best life possible.

Source:, "SPECIAL REPORT: Underage drinking presents problems for teens", Jose Zozaya, Nov. 16, 2016

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