Not many people agree or acknowledge that underage drinking is a major cause of fatal…
About 10% of licensed drivers in the United States are under 21. And the bothering fact is that this demographic is held accountable for 17% of the country's alcohol-related incidents. This only explains why parents do everything they can to keep their teens from driving drunk, even if it means installing ignition interlock devices.
As parents, there are other things you can do to keep your teens from driving while under the influence. Below are some effective techniques to consider:
1. Educate them about the dangers of drunk driving.
Discipline starts with the parents. Educate your teenager about the dangers of drunk driving. Let them know it is a serious offense that may result in fines and jail time. Having that basic knowledge alone should be more than enough to keep your teenager alert on the road and say no to alcohol when driving.
And if unfortunately, they are arrested for driving under the influence, an ignition interlock device could be installed in their cars. And they have to learn a lot about the device, including troubleshooting ignition interlock device issues and the dangers of tampering with the device.
2. Establish clear rules against drinking and driving.
Hands-on parents can somehow make a difference in the lives of their teens. Establishing clear rules against drinking and driving reduces the chances of teens getting involved in drunk-driving incidents. It also gives them an idea about what behavior is expected from them. So, as a parent of a teen, the number one rule to emphasize is to never drink and drive. If anything, inform them to contact you instead or have another friend who can drive to take them home.
3. Ally with the parents of your teenager's friends.
It helps to get to know the parents of your teenager's friends. And when you've already formed a bond, you can make a pact to look after each other's kids so you can avoid parties that serve alcohol and drugs.
4. Have a secret code with your teenager.
One common reason teenagers don't call their parents for help is that they don't want to be embarrassed in front of their friends. In such a scenario, having a secret code can help your teenager reach out to you easily without losing face. Let your teenager use secret codes like “I have flu” to notify you that they need to be picked up.
5. Prepare a backup plan.
It would be great to have an emergency plan if you are not available to pick up your child. For example, you can give your trusted friend's number to your teen. Let your teen contact your friend should your number be out of reach.
6. Don't make alcohol available.
Teenagers nowadays can easily access alcohol. And one of the most convenient places to get it is right at your home. In that case, hide your liquor supply, and don't tell them where you've hidden the alcohol. Make sure to have an inventory of those bottles, too!
7. Consider special occasions.
Graduation and prom nights are occasions when alcohol could be served, and drunk driving incidents are at their peak. Thus, get in touch with school officials and other parents, and come up with an agreement to ensure your teens' safety. For instance, you can suggest having a safe ride program that features vehicles with good car audio installation after the event. Better yet, designate older siblings to fetch your teen.
8. Make your teen understand.
Peer pressure is there, and it is inevitable. Teens can't easily say no in such situations. What you can do is help your teenager think of ways to save themselves from the pressure. Some good excuses would be, “My mom will take my license if she finds I'm drunk driving,” or something like, “My friend is going to pick me up later.”
Don't Let Your Teenagers Drink and Drive!
You are responsible for the safety and well-being of your teenagers, so do everything you can to keep them from being arrested for a first-time DUI. Teach them all there is to know about drunk driving and the consequences that come with it. Most importantly, be a good example. Be someone worth emulating.
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.