Spring break brings concerns over drunk driving and teens

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by ANGELA KING / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 5, 2013 at 7:10 PM

As spring break gets under way, local police agencies are reminding parents to talk to their teenagers about the dangers of driving drunk.

Members of the Washington State Patrol said we often see a spike in teen DUIs during holiday breaks.  On Thursday, five teenage girls were hurt in a roll-over crash in Puyallup.  The under-aged driver was allegedly under the influence.

"When I see crashes like that, I feel anger and disappointment," said Doris Jackson.

In 2005, Jackson's son Donnie died in a roll-over crash in Gig Harbor.  He was in a car filled with teens.  His body was discovered five hours after the crash, trapped underneath the car.

"Going to the mortuary to see my son's body was hard. No parent should feel this way," said Jackson.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 31% of teen drivers involved in deadly accidents had been drinking.  Here in Washington state, one in every 10 high school seniors admitted to drinking before driving.  One in five students said they got into a car with a driver who'd been drinking.

"It's scary. I feel for the parents that are dealing with the kids being out there," said Jackson."The peer pressure of wanting to smoke pot and drink and thinking it's not going to happen to them . They get behind the wheel of the car and the accident happens."

High school students aren't the only ones at risk this time of year.  According to DSHS, 15% of 8th graders in our state admitted to riding with older teens who'd been drinking before they got behind the wheel.
 

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