Category: DUI Law

Tips for Preventing Your Teen From Driving Drunk

  

teen dui lawyer

Not many people agree or acknowledge that underage drinking is a major cause of fatal crashes among drivers under 21. Some individuals do not believe that underage drinking is a national concern, even if the statistics tell them that it is.

More or less 20% of teenage drivers involved in fatal accidents and crashes test positive for alcohol consumption. Thousands of teens under 21 years old die every year due to car crashes, a significant number of which involve teen drunk driving. In 2019, over 400,000 teens aged 12 to 17 had alcohol use disorder. People with AUD cannot control their alcohol use even if they know the consequences awaiting them. These prove that underage drinking and driving is a major national concern.

If you are a parent whose teen is about to start driving, you have to find time to talk to your young driver. It’s important to prepare him or her for the responsibilities that come with a driver’s license. There are terms like DUI, BAC, and install ignition interlock device that your teen needs to familiarize. More than anything, though, you need to help him or her understand the consequences of underage drunk driving.

Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Teens

Alcohol is a depressant, so no matter how much one consumes, it can still affect a person’s coordination, sound judgment, vision, and reaction. The effect is magnified in teens. Even if they do not drink as frequently as adults do, they consume more on every occasion. Additionally, they are more susceptible to risks even with low or moderate BAC (blood alcohol concentration).

Without proper coordination, underage drunk drivers cannot control their hands, feet, and eyes. They also cannot control the way their brain works. They are not alert enough. As such, they cannot determine whether they or other drivers are going too fast or if they are too close to other cars, pedestrians, and objects.

Drowsiness is another effect of alcohol, and it can lead to distracted driving. It is risky not only for the teen driver but also for the passengers and the people and other cars on the road.

What You Can Do as a Parent

Talk to your teen about drunk driving laws

Discuss drunk driving laws with your teen, and let him or her know what the consequences are for underage DUI (driving under the influence). The following are some of the most vital points to specify:

  • Drunk driving laws are implemented throughout the country. Some vary from state-to-state, but the core laws are the same nationwide.
  • The laws consider a BAC of over 0.08% as illegal. However, all states exercise zero tolerance on all teen drunk drivers (under 21 years old). So, any amount of alcohol in their system is illegal.
  • Sobriety checkpoints are often installed in certain places. These are intended to help determine if a driver is impaired or intoxicated.
  • Those who are or have been convicted of drunk driving are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. Without one, they are not allowed to drive. An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer used to detect alcohol in the driver’s breath. It will prohibit the car from starting if it detects even the smallest amount.
  • The legal penalties of teen DUI include probation, fines, possible jail time, confiscation of driver’s license, and alcohol education facilitated by a treatment professional.

Underage DUI may have a long-term impact on your teen, too, which means it can affect his or her future. Some cases result in expulsion from school or some punishment of the same magnitude. Teens with underage DUI conviction may also have difficulty getting into college or qualifying for scholarships. Likewise, applying for a decent job can be challenging as most companies do background checks on their applicants.

Lastly, let your teen know the financial implications of underage DUI. You’ll have to pay fines and fees, insurance, alcohol education, towing fees (if applicable), medical expenses (your teens and those of other victims), and car repair.

Come up with a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement

The Parent-Teen Driving Agreement will help your teen understand the most vital elements of drunk driving – the rules, consequences, what to avoid, safety and maintenance, and other relevant details. It also puts into writing a set of road rules for your teen and everyone in the family. It specifies limits and expectations.

Parent-Teen Driving Agreement forms are available online. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement and New Driver Deal form that you can download from their website.

Consider Graduated Driver Licensing programs

GDL or Graduated Driver Licensing programs are offered in several states. It helps underage or young drivers obtain enough experience in driving before they can enjoy full driving privileges. It has three phases: learner (supervised driving), intermediate (limited unsupervised driving), and full privilege (full licensing with no restrictions unless necessary).

Law-enforced restrictions are followed throughout the program.

The goal of GDL is to help minimize the risk of fatal car crashes and accidents among teen drivers.

Aside from the tips mentioned above, you should also set up an appointment with a DUI lawyer who can help introduce and educate your teen about the dangers and legal implications of underage drunk driving – and drunk driving in general.

About the Author

Lauren McDowell is the Content Marketing Strategist for Interlock Install, a Phoenix-based company that performs the installations, service appointments, and removals for ADS Interlock. When not writing, she attends book clubs and enjoys reading stories to her kids

How to Keep Driving-age Teens Sober in The Summer – Guest Post

   

teen boy get arrested for drunk driving and taking police mug shot

Summertime is every teenager’s most-awaited season of the year. No school usually means getting to stay out a little later than usual to have fun with friends.

The thing is; summer is also the most dangerous time of the year for teens, especially teenage drivers. According to the NHTSA, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the deadliest for drivers aged 15 – 20 years old.

Many teenagers get their first taste of alcohol during summer which can lead to riskier driving behavior and, on a number of occasions, their first DUI offense.

Educating Teenagers About Underage Drinking and Drunk Drinking

 

Getting a call that your child has been involved in an accident is every parent’s worst fear. And knowing that it has something to do with teenage drunk driving makes it all the more heartbreaking.

No parent wants their teenager to drive drunk, but you must accept the fact that, on most occasions, teens actively seek alcohol rather than stumble across it. That being said, one of the best things that you can do to prevent your teens from putting themselves at risk is to open a respectful dialogue with your child about the dangers of underage drinking and driving under the influence.

Teenagers are already aware that they’re not legally allowed to consume alcohol until they’re 21. So, to drive the message home, remind them about the possible legal penalties for violating the law and make them understand that by making the choice to drive drunk, they aren’t just putting themselves in danger; they could seriously injure innocent people as well.

 

 5 Tips to Keep Teenage Drivers Sober

 

Educating your child about the dangers of driving under the influence could work to a certain extent. But if parents could stop underage drinking simply by talking to them, why is teenage drunk driving still prevalent all over the country?

Talking is definitely a good place to start, but you’ve got to be more proactive if you want to ensure your child’s safety.

Here are 5 strategies you can try to keep your teens safe and sober on the road this summer.

 

1. Keep Tabs on Your Teenagers

 

There’s nothing wrong with giving your teen more freedom in the summer, but make sure you’re always kept in the loop.

If they go out for the day, ask them to provide you with a loose itinerary of what they’re doing, where they’re going, and who they’re spending time with. If there are changes in the plans, tell them to let you know. Also, feel free to randomly check in on them through call or text. When teens are left largely unsupervised, they are more likely to get into trouble.

 

2. Set Clear Boundaries and Consequences

 

It’s important for parents to set clear boundaries, so your children are aware of what you expect from them.

Aside from reminding them that they should never drink and drive under any circumstances, you should also establish clear guidelines. Let them know until what time they are allowed to stay out, what places are off limits, how often they should check-in when they’re out, etc.

Most importantly, enforce the consequences you set for breaking the rules. If you show too much leniency, your teen may assume that there won’t be any real consequences should they experiment with alcohol.

 

3. Introduce Some Structure into Their Daily Routine

 

One of the best ways to make sure your teen stays sober over the summer is to keep them occupied. Summer may be a time for fun and relaxation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add some structure to their day.

Is your teen into sport, dance, or theater? See if you can find a summer camp that caters to his or her specific interests. If not, encourage them to volunteer or get a part-time job. A busy teen is less likely to have time for drinking, partying, or getting into trouble.

 

4. Teach Your Kids How to Handle Peer Pressure

 

Peer pressure has been one of the leading causes of underage drinking. Many teenagers try alcohol for the first time because their friends are doing it and don’t want to feel left out.

Alcohol-related peer pressure is great among high-schoolers, so it’s important that your kids know how to deal with it when it happens to them. They need to learn how to refuse a drink or a ride home from their drunk friends.

 

5. Practice What You Preach

 

By now, you already know that your words won’t have much of an impact on your children if your actions don’t match. You can tell your teenager not to drink when they see you downing a few bottles of beer almost every night or driving home after a night of drinking with friends.

When imposing rules on children, always set an example for them to follow. You may think they’re not, but your kids are always watching you.