You don’t really need a study to tell you that peer pressure is a major factor influencing underage DUI, but a new study only confirms this fact. Teenagers whose social circle consists of friends who constantly drive intoxicated, may have no problem with DUI.

The study was conducted by investigators at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. They say that although their research did not yield any new results about underage DUI, and although it is a well-established fact that peer pressure does have a huge influence on teen DUI, they were surprised at the level of increase in DUI risk when a teenager had friends who frequently drove under the influence of alcohol.

The study found that teen motorists who had friends, who drove while intoxicated, were much more likely to drive intoxicated in their senior year of high school. The study doesn’t exactly provide the rate of increase, or show exactly how much more likely teenagers are likely to drive while drunk because of peer influences. However, it does confirm that teenagers, who are frequently exposed to such drunk-driving practices by their friends, are much more likely to believe that these practices are acceptable.

For parents, the results of the study are extremely pertinent. If you are the parent of a teenager who has just begun driving, you are probably very concerned about underage DUI, as you should be. Intoxicated driving, while it is on the decline among many other categories of motorists, still remains fairly high in the teen driver population. Teenagers do not fully appreciate the dangers of DUI, including not only the risks of being involved in an accident when they’re driving under the influence of alcohol, but also the possibility of a DUI conviction on their record.

In fact, some teenagers take DUI charges so lightly, that they brag about them on social media. Over the past couple of years, there have been far too many cases involving people, especially young drivers, who got into trouble after posting on Facebook about their DUI experience. For instance, in one case, an 18-year-old was arrested when he returned home after a hit-and-run accident. He had hit the car on his way back home while driving under the influence of alcohol. It was bad enough that he left the scene of the accident after hitting the car. However, when he returned home, he logged onto Facebook and posted on his page, apologizing to the owner of the other vehicle, and admitting that he had been driving under the influence. People noticed the post, contacted the police, and very soon, officers were on his doorstep. He was not arrested for DUI because it had been several hours since the incident, but he did face several charges related to the hit-and-run.

If you were arrested for DUI, don’t lose any time. Talk immediately to a Denver DUI lawyer about possible defense strategies. A Denver DUI lawyer will work to get charges against you lowered or dismissed.