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What's the best way to prevent teen DUI accidents?

In the past two decades, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has worked very hard to reduce the number of teen deaths resulting from car accidents involving alcohol. Thus far, they have used two main tactics in doing so. First, they have become involved in the legislative process, advocating for zero-tolerance laws for drivers under the legal drinking age and graduated licensing programs for teen drivers.Second, they have mounted a massive public safety campaign, warning all drivers of the potential car accident risks of driving under the influence of alcohol. This campaign has been effective, especially when it comes to teenage drivers. According to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of teens who drive under the influence has fallen by 54 percent in the last two decades. Further, 90 percent of the teens that participated in the CDC survey said that they never drink and drive.However, the CDC estimates that high school-age teenagers in Colorado and across the country consumed alcohol and got behind the wheel nearly 2.5 million times every single month in 2011. And teen drivers are a staggering 17 times more likely to die in a car accident when alcohol is somehow involved.

With these statistics, MADD decided that it needed a new approach in the fight against teen drunk driving. Now, it is focusing its efforts on personal, peer-to-peer conversations about the risks and dangers of driving under the influence. The goal of this approach, MADD says, is to empower teens to make the best decisions about their personal actions, and to be better able to resist peer pressure.

What do you think? Will the new approach succeed?

Source: CNN, "What sways teens not to drink, drive? Stories, not stats," Jamie Gumbrecht, Oct. 10, 2012

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