FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2015
DMV WARNS ABOUT THE DANGERS, PENALTIES
OF DRINKING AND DRIVING AND UNDERAGE DRINKING
WETHERSFIELD – The Department of Motor Vehicles today is reminding motorists as Memorial Day travel starts and parties are planned that drinking and driving is illegal for all ages, and underage drinking can lead to many tragic consequences and also a suspension of a driver’s license when convicted for possession of alcohol.
“Drivers and passengers need to remember it is everyone’s responsibility to keep the vehicle safe. If you are drinking, then just don’t drive. It’s that simple,” said DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala, Jr.
“Also, with the heavy traffic this weekend, dangers rise significantly for crashes of all kinds, especially from distracted driving. Pay attenion behind the wheel and limit all the distractions in the vehicle,” he said.
In addition, the state Department of Transportation will kick off this weekend its federally funded “It’s Not My Kid” campaign, a series of television and radio commercials, billboard ads, and social media messages that underscore the dangers of impaired driving. Between 2009 and 2013, state DOT statistics show that 1,042 alcohol-related crashes have occurred involving drivers between 16 and 20 years old. These included 46 fatal crashes and 52 fatalities.
Due to teens’ underdeveloped brain functions and inexperience behind the wheel, underage drinking is especially dangerous. Teens tend to engage in risky behaviors. In 2013, the Connecticut School Health Survey (CSHS) conducted by the Department of Public Health and the Connecticut Department of Education reported the following:
- 22 percent of teens reported being in a car with a drunk driver
- Nine percent of teen drivers reported driving while drinking alcohol
Parents are also reminded about the teen driving laws, which include passenger restrictions and curfews. Convictions of violating these laws bring license suspensions and fines. More on the laws can be found at https://ct.gov/dmv/teens
Driving under the influence carries a number of penalties for those convicted. They face both criminal and administrative sanctions. More information can be found at http://1.usa.gov/1FstafF
Local and state police will also be out in force statewide to check on motorists driving under the influence and speeding.
“Everyone needs to remember to keep safe while enjoying the holiday and don’t take any unnecessary risks,” the Commissioner said.