The underlying mechanism of peer pressure is fear(fear of being rejected unless an effort is made to conform to the group's standards. Thus, a related cause of drunk driving is socializing with a group of individuals that drink and drive. Another aspect of peer pressure the youthful driver's lack of a strong self-identity; this weakness makes the driver vulnerable to peer pressure. Because "the need for acceptance, approval, and belonging is vital during the teen years," those teens that are rejected by peers with high moral standards "are more likely to engage in risky behaviors in order to fit in with a group" ("Your Teen's Friends").
Not all drunk drivers are teenagers, however. Adults also drive drunk. Although adult drunk drivers can fall prey to the same issues that affect younger drivers, there are other factors that may also result in their driving drunk. A frequent cause of drunk driving is a simple lack of planning and preparation ("Understanding the Causes of Drunk Driving"). The individual may drive to a bar or party unescorted and then drink too much alcohol before thinking about how to get home ("Understanding the Causes of Drunk Driving"). At that point, they may be reluctant to ask for help and thus end up driving themselves ("Understanding the Causes of Drunk Driving"). Others have been drinking and driving for years, but since they have never had an accident, they do not feel unsafe ("Understanding t