Underage Patience Wall 03/07/11 WARNING The PowerPoint you are about to view is aimed at engaging its audience. It will present its information in a casual yet appropriate matter. Its purpose is to send an important message to a teenage audience. Thus, there will be car accident images. Its effect, in the hopes of its creator, is to encourage Underage Drinking and Driving Prevention. Therefore, this presentation will be captivating and unlike any other. Thank You. Confronting the Problem The issue of underage drinking and driving is basically self-descriptive. It deals with people who are underage who choose to drive under the influence. The problem arises with the consequences of this offense. A Few Facts to Introduce the Audience to the Problem FirstEagle.com says… • “In a single year, 522 children under age 14 were arrested for driving while intoxicated, (113 of them were under 10 years old).” • “70 percent of all teenagers drink alcohol.” • “60 percent of all teen deaths in car accidents are alcohol-related.” In Addition to this material, Alcohol Alert reports… “Each year, approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking; this includes about 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, as well as hundreds from other injuries such as falls, burns, and drownings (1–5).” If underage drinking and driving is so dangerous, why does our youth continue to pursue this path, and what can we do to stop it? Our journey to answer this burning question begins in the teenage mind? We can all reminisce back to the typically messy teenage room. Well, coincidently, sometimes the typical teenage mind can be the same way, as cluttered as the images on this page. Teens are constantly bombarded with a rainstorm of tasks. Here comes the projects, the homework, the sports, the after-school jobs…. The list goes on. On top of this growing pile of chores lies the pressure to maintain an ever-changing social life. We want to have friends, to go a few parties, and to feel like we belong all while we are finding “where” we belong. Therefore, it is easy to understand that teenagers sometimes feel the need to escape, but is intoxication really the way? Why It’s So Easy???? It’s not really a matter we have to scratch our heads about. Teenagers, as well as, small children and adults are exposed to the unrelenting flow of bad influences from the media. How many commercials or videos have we seen that do not incorporate relaxing and having a good time with alcohol or some new prescription? There is no question where teenagers are getting this idea. Here, you are, a teenager in a society that belabors upon the cool guy in the Bud Light commercial and raves over the singer who drinks Grey Goose? Some of your friends are experimenting with alcohol, and you have been having some curiosity of your own for a while. You think, “why not try something that will lighten things up?” LIMITATIONS LIMITATIONS LIMITATIONS You’re becoming a young adult. This growth comes with freedoms and limitations. You can stay out later, but there’s a curfew. You just got your license, but you must obey an entire list of highway rules including a speed limit. It is natural for us, as humans, to seek out freedom. This makes rebellion very common in teen development. Rules are made because of risks. Scientific studies claim that as teenagers go through adolescence their desire to engage in risky behavior heightens. They are pushed by impulsiveness to engage in activities that would seem dangerous to an adult, activities like driving under the influence. Some studies say that we develop this invincibility complex in our teenage years when we are reaching the prime of our physical abilities. This may help explain why teenagers seem unfazed when it comes to the risks of drunk driving. To some teens, not being allowed to drive while under the influence is just another feasible limitation; however, every rule and limitation was made because of a risk, and one cannot break a rule without looking at the risk factor and effects of his/her decision. LIMITATIONS The Complicated Decision To drive drunk or not to drive drunk? That is the question. You don’t need to recall a Shakespearean quote to say “No” to a decision that can affect you for a lifetime. The decision to be a safe driver is not as complicated as you may think it is. No matter what you do or where you go, there is always that other 1%. There will always be the grand tale of this girl or guy that “heroically” drank down a full case of beer and miraculously drove home without a single complication. This is what I like to call the “Superwoman” or “Hercules” story. How many real life Superwomen and Herculeses' do you know? You probably don’t that many. The point is believe in the other 99% and don’t drink and drive. I hope your not planning on driving to the beach this summer. Being convicted of a DWI can have you without a driver’s license for a year. They can and will suspend. Keep in mind that a DWI is a criminal conviction. It goes on your record. There has also been talk of some colleges unaccepting students because of this crime. Is it just a rumor? I wouldn’t take my chances. Consequences Some of you may be wondering, why the cop smiley face? It is the mistaken assumption of most teenagers that they can get away with drinking and driving as long as their BAC(Blood Alcohol Concentration) is below 0.08. This must be right. NOOO! This BAC limit is only applied to those who are 21 and up. If a teenager is caught with any alcohol in their system, they can and, in most cases, will be arrested. Suppose you do get in an accident under the influence, and the driver in the opposite vehicle dies. You could very well be charged with homicide. Handcuffs aren’t a good fashion statement for anyone, and I would prefer taking over a cell phone sitting in my room than talking into a cord phone looking through a glass window. Oh! It was only 11 injuries. Let’s keep in mind that some injuries are not temporarily fixed with Neosporin and a Band-Aid. Some injuries can last a lifetime You can’t put a Band-Aid on a severed limb. Others Can Face Your Consequences Being framed as a murderer doesn’t do much for one’s conscience, so try to avoid a situation that could give you that title. You are a person, not the Grim Reaper. You are not the only person on the road. Therefore, when you drink and drive you not only put yourself at risk but others, too. Do you remember when you were five and you broke your mom’s favorite lamp? Your mom probably fixed it with superglue. Well, permanently injuring someone is different than that. There’s no “I’m sorry” that can fix an injury or “Redo” button to push. The market does not make superglue for broken lives Making the Right Decision The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety says.. “The per capita death rate of fatally injured 1620 year-old passenger vehicle drivers with a positive BAC declined by 54 percent between 1982 and 1995, and a smaller decline was seen between 1995 and 2008 (31 percent).” Continue Making the Right Choice We have seen the numbers go down, but we want to continue to see them drop. Your decisions make all the difference, so make the right one. Say no to drinking, and say no to driving while doing it. The Solution When you come across moments when you are stressed or feeling down, you don’t always have to reach for the car keys or turn to the bottle. If it’s school work that is stressing you out, try cutting out some of your academic activities to make room for extracurricular ones. You can even pick up a new non-scholastic activity like painting or sewing. Hobbies are a great way to get away. You say things are getting heavy. Taking a trip to the park or just relaxing with your family can be fun. Yes, even parents can be cool sometimes. Instead of taking a drive, why not take a walk with the family pet? I’m sure Bingo would love to spend some time with you! Many people find exercise to be a good way to take the edge off. Endorphins can work wonders. Stop and Prevent Do you remember Smokey the Bear? When we were younger, Smokey would say “Only you can prevent forest fires.” As we age, there is no Smokey to guide you; however, the slogan is basically the same; “Only you” can prevent drunk driving. You can take a vow not to engage in underage drinking and driving. You can also promote this lifestyle among your peers. Organizations like SADD(Students Against Destructive Decisions) and MADD(Mothers Against Drunk Driving) promote the prevention of driving under the influence and spreading its awareness. While MADD focuses primarily on DUI, SADD offers many other help and awareness services for teens. If you are interested in supporting the cause, check your school and community to join a local chapter. The Statistics • In 2008, an estimated 12.4% of persons ages 12 or older drove under the influence of alcohol at least once during the past year. • In 2008, 11,773 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one third (32%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. • Alcohol use remains extremely widespread among today’s teenagers. Nearly three quarters of students (72%) have consumed alcohol (more than just a few sips) by the end of high school, and more than a third (37%) have done so by eighth grade. According to Webster… Merriam-Webster.com says a weapon is “ something (as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy. Although Merriam-Webster only provides a few examples, its definition allows for anything that destroys or causes injuries to be a weapon. This can range from a pencil to a moving vehicle, if used improperly. Look On. Take It All In. I Promise They Won’t Bite. Yes. That is the front half of a car. One Small Decision. One Big Effect. The New Slogan Drive Responsibly. Works Cited "weapon." Merriam-Webster An Encyclopedia Britannica Company. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 2011. Web. 5 Mar. 2011. <http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/weapon?show=0&t=1299382993>. "TEENAGE DRUNK DRIVING." First Eagle, n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2011. <http://www.firsteagle.com/tdd.htm>. "Underage Drinking." NIAAA National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institute of Health. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2011. <http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa67/aa67.htm>. "Why are young drivers at a higher risk?." Center for the Study of Young Drivers. Why are young drivers at a higher risk?, n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2011. <http://www.csyd.unc.edu/issues/why_higher_risk.html>. "Alcohol and Public Health." Center fo Disease Control and Prevention Your Online Source for Credible Health Information. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d. 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