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Survey: New Hampshire teens risking drunk driving arrests

Rochester parents understand that there's a certain amount of rebellion to be expected from their teenage children. But when the rebellion results in risky behavior, many parents will find that they need an experienced attorney to help them and their child successfully navigate the New Hampshire criminal justice system.

According to a new survey of the state's young drivers, many teens and parents will be dealing with charges involving drunk driving and texting while driving as they enter the system.

The Department of Education recently released the results of the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which questioned high school students on topics including alcohol and drug use, as well as exercise, sexual activities and diet.

The survey broke new ground this year by also asking about texting while driving, a widely reported problem not only among teen drivers, but across older age groups as well.

Nearly half of the responding students (47.7 percent) said they have engaged in texting while behind the wheel; among seniors, the figure was all the way up to 68.6 percent.

A significant portion of respondents also admitted they have driven after drinking alcohol: 8.4 percent. Again, among seniors the figure was quite a bit higher: 11.8 percent.

Nearly one out of 10 students also admitted they never, or rarely, buckle their seat belt while driving.

School officials quoted in an article on the survey said the numbers are "alarming" and that they are "blown away" by the results.

The statistics about drinking and driving were of most concern to educators, and not without good reason. They understand that not only do teens put themselves and their friends at risk of car accidents by drinking and driving, but they also risk arrest and potentially harsh legal sanctions as a result.

Let's face it: young people haven't yet acquired the experience or perspective to fully appreciate the negative consequences a DWI/DUI conviction can have on future employment opportunities or academic pursuits.

Any parent facing the dilemma of a teen son or daughter arrested for DUI should contact an attorney to discuss available legal options.

Source: Eagle-Tribune, "Risk survey shows N.H. teen drivers taking chances," by John Toole, Nov. 16, 2013

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