Thursday, November 01, 2007

Drinking, Driving, and Little Kids

It's hard to be a kid in school today and if I'm right about this, it's going to become even harder. A study published in the latest edition of Accident; Analysis and Prevention reveals that the problem of impaired driving may be bigger in middle school children than was previously thought.

17% of 290 middle school children surveyed admitted to driving after drinking. Maybe I'm just out of the loop but I thought that ten to thirteen-year-olds weren't supposed to drink OR drive.

If this study is accurate and generalizable, (it was limited to one Mississippi school in a rural area) there will be repercussions.

I can easily imagine a referendum to mandate teaching about the burdens of DUI's to young school kids. Such instruction will almost surely be useless and ineffective. It will also undoubtedly sidestep the issue of parental responsibility.

Given the fatalistic approach we've taken towards sex education (don't have sex but if you do, here's how...) I'm pretty sure I know what form this will take.

Class time is going to be set aside for lectures on the perils of mixing gin with your kool-aid and how doing so will degrade one's ability to negotiate freeway onramps. I can just picture the "role-playing" scenarios where the independent-minded little tyke has to learn to demand the car keys from her inebriated tetherball partner.

I'm just worried about when there'll be any time at all to study reading, writing, and arithmetic. Maybe in the interest of efficiency, they can have a session of interpreting blood alcohol levels incorporated into their math classes?

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Chuck McKay said...

A Highway Patrol officer in South Carolina told me that roughly 1/2 of the 14-year-olds driving will have an accident before they turn 15.

1/4 of the 15-year-olds will have an accident before their 16th birthday.

The numbers keep reducing geometrically as the age they begin to drive increases.

November 04, 2007 9:30 PM  
Blogger manoj said...

Drunk driving can mean serious consequences at any time, but when you add children to the car of a DUI offender, not only is the possibility of serious injuries that much greater, but so are the penalties that law enforcement authorities will place on the convicted DUI offender.
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Dinesh

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September 09, 2008 8:22 PM  

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