Forum Tackles Teen Drunk Driving

Frank Diaz

Lynchburg, VA - A community forum in Lynchburg Thursday tackled a tough issue: Teens drinking and driving.

Officers, driving instructors and city representatives brainstormed major causes of alcohol-related car crashes like the availability of alcohol and enforcement.

According to the Virginia DMV, 543 teens 15 to 19 years old were injured in 2010 in alcohol-related crashes; 22 were killed.

The goal this year is to develop a strategic plan and reduce teen alcohol-related accidents by 10%.

"But, most importantly, we are going to need community outreach. We're going to need people in the community to be aware number one, parents to be aware, and be willing to take their part in this fight," said Frank Diaz, grand coordinator for Lynchburg.

A five-year federal grant made the forum possible. HIPE, Healthy Individuals through Prevention and Education, helped organize the event.