Here I am live-blogging the alcohol and teen tutorial at All-Star Driver, the nation's largest driver ed school, headquartered in Watertown, Connecticut. Thanks to the change in the CT law, teen crashes are down. But alcohol remains, well, a threat.
"Knowledge is everything," hammers Steve Janelli, instructor. All 7 teens shook their heads in agreement. This generation, unlike Steve's, has down cold the harmful effects of too much booze, too much "grass," and too much or any cigarettes. They tend to shun those at school who engage in excess.
What is on their wish list is having state laws which make sense to them. They fully agree that the law should be brutal in its consequences for drinking and driving. But they advocate lowering the drinking age and making it okay to use "grass" for recreation. What they pointed out is that their own parents aren't horrified when they hear that students at school had been found with "grass." If the "lid" is on the situation, parents don't seem to freak out. This is very different from the attitudes of the parents of us Baby Boomers.
The reassuring news is that the well put together kids shun those who even consider drinking, then get into a car. The reckless teens are bound to be pushed out of the group. Therefore, parents and schools have to be alert for the teen who doesn't fit in as the one who's likely to get in a car when impaired. From today's discussion here in the classroom we might have put together a new profile of the typical teen drunk driver.