Underage drinking and drug use is an unfortunate fact of society. According to the CDC, most underage alcohol consumption comes in the form of binge drinking. They also consume more drinks in a drinking session than adults. In fact, the organization reports that underage drinking is responsible for 4,300 deaths each year. California has seen its share of underage drinking in the past years, though numbers are dropping. The Daily News reports on underage DUI arrests in Los Angeles.
Last week was National Drug and Alcohol Facts week. At a press conference regarding the event outside LAPD’s Traffic Division Panorama office, a teenage girl spoke about her experiences.
16-year-old Jasmine Walker started with marijuana at 13. By 16, she had moved on to meth. She recently went through a residential treatment program at Phoenix House in Lakeview Terrace. She has been clean for 130 days.
She spoke about the kind of hold drugs can take: “When you get behind the wheel, you’re just confused and you’re engaged in the drug and what you want the outcome to be,”
According to records, 704 youths under the age of 21 were arrested for DUI in 2017. That number is down from 910 in 2016 and 988 in 2015.
Detective William Bustos spoke at the press conference, stating that on average, 867 young adults are arrested annually for driving while impaired.
The press conference was held in the hopes of educating children and parents about the danger of drugs and alcohol. We hope that the youth who see the conference take the lessons to heart. Proving an adult didn’t commit DUI is difficult enough. It’s nearly impossible to defend a minor caught drinking behind the wheel.