For years, the public perception has held that teenage drivers are at a higher risk of driving under the influence, because of peer pressure.  However, a new study indicates to San Diego DUI lawyers that that perception is no longer true.

According to the study, parents have a much bigger role to play in determining whether children end up driving under the influence, than friends.   The study was conducted by a nonprofit group called The Century Council , which focuses on raising awareness about the dangers of underage drinking.  The study has been released to coincide with Alcohol Awareness Month.  The researchers were looking at the greatest influences on teenagers’ drinking practices.

According to the study, approximately 83% of teens between the age of 10 and 18 admitted that their parents were the biggest influences in their alcohol-related decisions.  This included teens who did not drink all, drank minimally, or drank responsibly. 

This was a surprising finding, because earlier studies have indicated that parents do not play a significant role in determining a person's drinking practices, compared to peers.  In 2003, a similar study showed parental influence figures that were about 20% lower. 

According to the respondents, there are other influences that also determine a person's risk of driving under the influence of alcohol.  For instance, 28% of the persons admitted that the threat of punishment determined their risk for drunk driving.  About 22% of the respondents said that their brothers and sisters influenced their drinking practices, and 23% said that law-enforcement officers influenced their drinking policies.

What this indicates to San Diego DUI lawyers is that parents must track their children's driving practices at all time.  Look for signs of drinking, and monitor the kind of friends that your teenager hangs out with.