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Survey: Some teens don't understand the term 'designated driver'

Many New Hampshire parents know what it's like to try to explain ideas to teenagers. You know they hear you, but you're not always sure that they're listening and absorbing the information you're giving them. While they may be able to repeat it, they may lack a full comprehension of the importance of what you're telling them.

A recent survey indicated that this seems to be true when it comes to drunk driving. More than 85 percent of teens who responded to a survey said they know that drinking and driving is dangerous. However, the survey also indicated that teenagers may not have a good understanding of what it means to be a designated driver.

Of those who said they do not drive after drinking, about 10 percent actually do. According to the survey, one in five teens believes that a designated driver can have a few drinks, just not too many.

From a legal perspective, this information is likely worrisome for some parents in Rochester and other areas of New Hampshire. If a teen believes that it is acceptable to get behind the wheel after consuming a few drinks, there is a greater chance that he or she could end up facing drunk driving charges -- something no parent wants for their child.

If a teenager does end up being stopped and arrested for DUI, it is important that his or her parents know that a drunk driving charge is not the same as a conviction. There are ways to challenge the charges in an effort to keep any mention of the incident off of a child's permanent record. Talking to an attorney experienced in drunk driving cases is a good place to start.

Source: New Hampshire Public Radio, "Teens Say They Don't Text or Drink While Driving," March 19, 2014

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