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Authorities targeting teens with education, drunk driving charges

Spring break, prom and graduation are upon us. And, just like adults, teenagers like to celebrate and have a good time. Sometimes those celebrations include alcohol. Although the legal drinking age in South Carolina is 21, some teenagers choose to make alcohol a part of their celebrations. Unfortunately, what they may not understand are the ramifications of getting behind the wheel of a car after consuming too much alcohol.

Although South Carolina's teenagers may not understand the implications of drunk driving charges, local authorities are doing their best to help these young children understand how drinking and driving can impact their lives and the lives of others legally, emotionally and physically. They are doing this with a program known as the DUI Rodeo.

Most recently, the traveling DUI lesson made a stop at Goose Creek High School. Students were given the opportunity to put on a pair of drunk goggles and participate in a drunk driving simulation. One teenager said it was more difficult than she would have imagined and the simulation effectively scared her and the thought of killing others or herself made her nauseous.

The goal of the traveling simulation is to show school-aged children the potentially deadly impact of distracted driving or driving under the influence of alcohol. In addition, authorities are hoping to reduce the occurrences of underage drinking.

Although programs like this can be very effective, people of all ages make mistakes and a teenager in particular stands to lose a great deal when charged with a crime. There are numerous potential consequences that can accompany these charges and they may include a jail sentence or fines. In addition, South Carolina law allows for the automatic suspension of a driver's license even after the first drunk driving offense.

Fortunately, there are DUI defense attorneys in South Carolina that are experienced in these types of cases. They will advocate for the defendant while seeking the most reasonable outcome possible for the accused. A rigorous defense will also help the alleged drunk driver stand up to police and prosecutors who will often times try to intimidate information out of the defendant.

Source: Live 5 News, "DUI Rodeo: High schoolers learn the dangers of drunk driving," Carolyn Farr Smith, March 14, 2013

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