As a provider of Florida’s TLSAE Course for teenage drivers, we don’t only write about driving-related topics. We also promote teens making safe choices about substance abuse. With spring break, prom and graduation around the corner, the opportunities to engage in risky behaviors will increase significantly. Each year, approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking; including about 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). Getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking can be deadly. Even “good” drivers make decisions that put themselves in potentially dangerous situations. Don’t become a statistic!
Peer pressure is a constant concern among young people. Teens want to fit in and impress their friends, which can lead to teen drinking. Alcohol is not only easily accessible to many teens; it can also contribute to the party atmosphere at end of the school year celebrations. In fact, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a higher percentage of youth ages 12 to 20 consumed alcohol in the past month (27.2%) than tobacco (21.4%) or illicit drugs (14.4%). If you are a teen or the parent of a teen, think about ways to address peer pressure. Completing your Drug and Alcohol course with GDL Institute teach you ways to react when you are being pressured to drink or consume other intoxicating substances such as:
- Talk with another friend to say “no” together.
- Choose friends who avoid drugs and alcohol.
- Stay away from peers who pressure you.
- Talk to someone you trust.
Also remember, when it comes to drinking and driving, Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21 years old. If you drink and drive, not only will you lose your license, but you could also face serious fines, or depending on the situation, be charged with a misdemeanor, a felony, including manslaughter. Saying “no” to alcohol may even save your life.
- Underage Drinking – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking – SAMHSA