Regional teens most likely to ride with drink drivers

Teenagers in rural Queensland were dicing with death, after new RACQ statistics revealed the startling number who admitted to getting in the car with a driver they knew was over the legal limit.

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In regional Queensland 44 percent of Year 11 and 12 students surveyed during RACQ’s Docudrama program admitted to being a passenger with a driver they believed was drunk, compared with 36 percent of metropolitan students surveyed.

RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said it was a serious concern to see how many teens were putting themselves at risk. “A spur of the moment decision to get in a car with someone over the limit, can have devastating consequences,” Ms Ritchie said.

“We know public transport, taxis and rideshare services aren’t as common in the country as they are in the city, but getting into a car with a drunk driver should never be considered your only option to get home.”

Ms Ritchie said it was vital young adults felt empowered to speak up and get themselves out of trouble and encouraged family members to discuss 'no-questions-asked' phone call concept as an alternative.

“We hope these statistics will prompt parents to speak with their kids about how to get home safely from parties,” she said.

"Offering to pick up your children is one option parents should consider. We know any parent would rather take a phone call in the middle of the night than receive a knock on the door from emergency services.

“Talk to your children about trusting their gut when it’s telling them something’s wrong. It’s so important they say or do something to remove themselves from a dangerous situation because it’s simply not worth dying to avoid embarrassment.”