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Public service efforts to reduce underage drunk driving

New York residents may recognize the dangers of drunk driving, but young drivers may still be tempted to take to the road after consuming alcohol. Statistics indicate that an estimated 25 percent of fatal crashes involving young drivers involve alcohol. All states in the nation have set the minimum drinking age at 21, but underage access to alcohol continues to be an issue that carries over into driving activity.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is targeting this problem as it embarks on a new public service campaign. Sayings such as friends don't let friends drive drunk are derived from similar campaigns, and the NHTSA has excelled at making its messaging memorable. The goal of effecting change in the behaviors of teen drivers is important, and ad agencies and software developers have provided their services pro bono to support the effort. The public can expect the campaign to focus on party fouls, tapping into a point of social interest that is common for underage individuals who use alcohol. The long-lasting implications of a DUI auto accident will be emphasized.

The new public service campaign will meet underage drivers in a realm that is popular, as social media accounts and apps are used to carry the message forward. Teens will be able to generate excuses for avoiding dangerous driving scenarios, and a branded emoji keyboard will be available for use on popular smartphone platforms. Adults can complement the effort by communicating with their young drivers about expectations and consequences.

Although the most common point of focus in a personal injury case related to a drinking and driving accident might be the underage driver and their family, an additional consideration is the source of alcohol. A lawyer working with a client in such a situation might discuss possible action against an adult who has supplied an underage driver with intoxicating beverages.

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