Preventing Your Teen from Getting Behind the Wheel While Impaired

Maybe it’s not legal in the U.S. for a teen to consume alcohol, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen. When teens combine drinking with driving, the chances of getting into real trouble with the law spikes. So, too, does the opportunity for them to get into a car crash that can leave themselves or innocent passengers seriously injured or worse.  

Should your teen happen to find him or herself on the wrong side of the law due to drinking and driving, you need to contact the best DUI lawyer you can find. Says the Law Office of Aaron M. Black, PLLC, a Phoenix DUI Attorney. Depending on the specific circumstances of your DUI case, a highly respected attorney can represent you in a court of law without your physical presence.  

If possible, a lawyer who’s acting on your behalf in the courtroom will allow you to continue to go to school, work, or both so that your studies and your means of income aren’t interrupted. That said, what steps can be taken to prevent teens from getting behind the wheel while impaired in the first place?  

According to a recent report by Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, drunk driving or driving while impaired is one of the most frequent causes of death among teenagers in the U.S. Alcohol is said to impair most of the fine skills that teens require the most. These include vision and reaction time, but they also include judgment.    

How should a parent react to teenage drinking and driving? Taking a proactive stance on the subject can significantly reduce the risk of underage drinking and driving. With this in mind, here are a few strategies you, as a parent, can take to keep your child safe while behind the wheel.   

Establish Rules Regarding Drinking and Driving 

As soon as your teen earns his or her driver’s license, you need to set some strict rules. At the same time, you need to explain, in detail, the consequences that will arise from breaking one or all of them.  

In fact, you need to remind your teen in no uncertain terms that if they drink, they are breaking the law, which means they are not to drink at all until their 21st birthday. Drinking and driving as a teen is a serious offense that will cost them dearly if pulled over by an officer of the law and convicted in a court of law.  

You need to lay out the legal consequences of being convicted of drunk driving, such as having their driver’s license revoked, serving time in jail, being denied acceptance into the college or university of their choice, or even being involved in a fatal car wreck.  

Dealing with Peer Pressure When It Comes to Teen Drinking and Driving 

All too often, teens engage in drinking not because they want to. They do it due to peer pressure that comes from friends and acquaintances. This is why it’s of vital importance that you pull your teen aside and discuss all the different peer pressure scenarios they will encounter while in high school.  

Keep in mind that most teens who drink do so with the intent to get drunk. You might discuss with your child how he would react if offered a beer at a party. You should also talk about how to turn down a ride home from a partygoer who’s been drinking. Let your teen know they can always call for a ride home if they feel trapped in a circumstance where alcohol is being consumed by their teen peers.  

Provide a Solid Example to Your Teens When it Come to Drinking and Driving 

When it comes to drinking and getting behind the wheel, you, as the parent, need to practice what you preach. This means setting a good example for drinking alcohol in your own home. You should not be drinking to excess in front of your kids. At the same time, it’s a good idea to discourage guests from overdrinking during a visit or during a house party.  

Says Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, you should avoid making jokes about over-drinking since this will dismiss the notion that alcohol abuse is glamorous or funny. Always avoid implying that alcohol is a good way to solve your problems. In other words, try not to say things like, “You kids are driving me to drink,” Or, “What a day. I need a stiff drink.”   

In the end, it’s up to parents to guide their teens through the murky, if not dangerous, waters of drinking and driving. Teens who understand they are not only breaking the law if they drink and drive but that they are taking a big chance of ruining their future will be the ones who not only survive but who thrive going forward.  



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