Young Drunk Driving

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

Over the past few months there have been a number of cases that resemble Andrew Schlictimeier’s; young people allegedly under the influence wreaking havoc on society.

There are those working to change the way we all think about drinking.

Of the most recent cases Schlictimeier is the only young person who has been found guilty of being drunk when he crashed and took the life of another.

There are several other young people who still await trial on similar charges.

On the other side of the equation is a young woman who is working to change the way young people view alcohol and the decisions they make.

Alcohol fueled fatal crashes are nothing new to Amy Wieczorek. The graduating senior has lost one good friend to a drunk driver; a second friend has begun the long road to recovery.

Some debate whether young people's drinking habits are peer pressure or culture, Wieczorek says she knows.

Amy Wieczorek says, "Definitely culture is one of the big issues, peer pressure not so much. If people don't want to drink it is not really pressuring them to drink it's just that you want to fit in."

"Fitting in" can lead to problems. According to the experts at Project Extra Mile the earlier a person starts drinking the more problems alcohol causes.

Diane Riibe says, "Somewhere between 80% and 90% of all the drinking done by those underage is done in a binge drinking fashion so they are at potential for some serious risk and serious harm."

Riibe says while many may be surprised at the age of the drivers of these fatal accidents and the alleged B.A.C. levels those who work to prevent the problems associated with alcohol are familiar with the fallout.

Wieczorek is too familiar with fatal crashes caused by alcohol and hopes that technology can help change the future.

Amy Wieczorek says, "We have the ignition interlock system right? They say that are implementing that within eight years nationwide into vehicles that seems like a solution, that seems like a cure but we'll see."

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