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Facebook Offers Clues about Underage DUI in New Jersey

October 26, 2011 | Posted In Resources - Criminal Law, Juvenile Law

Teenagers convicted of driving after drinking any amount of alcohol in New Jersey can face a 30-to-90-day suspension of their license. This is in addition to any loss of license for a DWI conviction, which can last anywhere from seven months to one year, as well as other penalties, including mandatory alcohol education, a delayed license and 30 days of community service.

Because of the serious consequences, New Jersey DUI lawyers advise parents to keep track of their children's drinking habits to avoid a DUI arrest. Monitoring underage drinking can be challenging for parents but fortunately, with the help of Facebook, keeping tabs on teen drinking can actually be a little bit easier.

According to a new study, teenagers who frequently post about their drinking habits on Facebook have a much higher chance of being problem drinkers when compared with those who do not mention alcohol on their Facebook pages.  To arrive at their conclusion, the study analyzed more than 300 students’ Facebook profiles, and categorized the students into three groups:

  • Persons who never posted about drinking
  • Persons who posted news and pictures about drinking
  • Persons who posted regularly about getting very drunk

The teenagers were then given a survey about their drinking practices and were rated based on the answers.  Persons with a score of 8 and above were classified as possible problem drinkers.  The researchers next compared their scores with their Facebook activity. 

Researchers found that persons who frequently posted about how drunk they had been, were much more likely to be categorized as problem drinkers.  Overall, persons who posted about alcohol-related behaviors, including news and pictures, were also much more likely to fall into the high-risk problem drinking category.  Persons who never posted about drinking were at the least risk for problem drinking practices such as driving drunk.

These results indicate that looking for possible signs of problem drinking behavior on your child's Facebook page can help you to spot a problem and resolve it before your child needs a New Jersey DUI lawyer.

The New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with DUI, assault, sex crimes, drug crimes and other crimes across New Jersey.



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