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State sponsored programs for young adult drivers

The state of Georgia sponsors the Georgia Young Adult Program to promote awareness and education regarding highway safety issues. The program focuses on impaired driving, underage drinking and destructive decisions, as well as other high-risk behaviors.

The aim of the program is to reduce the frequency of accidents involving injuries and fatalities. Motor vehicle collisions are the chief cause of death in the United States for those between 18 and 24. Universities and colleges all over Georgia target students in that age group using peer educators to reduce risky driving and drinking behaviors.

Statistics from 2005 indicate that 229 young adults ages 16 to 20 died in wrecks. That age group makes up just 7 percent of the state's population, but in that year, those in that age range were responsible for a total of 13 percent of all highway fatalities. Contributing factors to these senseless deaths include immaturity combined with inexperience behind the wheel. Other factors may include peer pressure, high risk behaviors, the dearth of educational and driving information programs and improper use of safety devices.

To combat this problem, the University of Georgia has a volunteer group called the "Watchdawgs" who provide rides on weekend nights for students in need of designated drivers. If it is a given that students will be drinking as part of their celebration, it is imperative that they not drive.

Driving after consuming alcoholic beverages can result in a DUI arrest for those of any age. In addition to a potential jail term and fines, those convicted of DUI can have their driving privileges suspended. It may be possible to avoid conviction by mounting a vigorous defense against the allegations.

Source: gahighwaysafety.org, "Georgia Young Adult Program," accessed April 01, 2016