The responsibility for preventing teen drunk driving falls on parents as much as it falls on teens. Most teens are not fully aware of the consequences of alcohol on the brain and how drunk driving could affect the rest of their lives.
Before parents hand over car keys to their teens, they need to lay down certain ground rules and make them fully aware of the consequences they could face if they drink and drive, such as suspension of their licenses.
Communicate rules and the consequences of breaking them
Communicate your rules and expectations clearly. Make sure that your teen knows that being caught drinking and driving has severe consequences.
This could include losing a driver’s license, facing community service or a fine, serving time in jail, being denied acceptance to college, affecting their future job prospects, or at worst, being involved in a fatal car accident. A car accident attorney in Long Beach will tell you that drunk driving is one of the most frequent causes of death in teens.
Speak about the physiological effects of drinking
Make sure your teen knows the physiological consequences of drinking and that you are not just being a paranoid parent. They often aren’t aware of just how quickly they can become impaired. Communicate with your teen that alcohol affects the part of the brain that controls balance and muscle coordination.
This can greatly reduce their reaction time which is one of the main reasons why driving under the influence of alcohol is such a bad idea.
Talk to your teen about peer pressure
Teenage drinking is often a result of peer pressure. You can role play with your teen how to turn down a drink at a party in a way that doesn’t cause embarrassment or a loss of face.
Teenagers drink to get drunk and even if your teen doesn’t drink, climbing into a car with someone who has been drinking could have serious consequences. Your teen needs to know that he or she can call you at any time rather than taking a ride with a drunken friend.
Be a role model
Teens often imitate the actions of their parents and so parents need to lead by example. Encourage responsible alcohol use in your own home and discourage your guests from drinking and driving.
Jokes about drinking alcohol can give your teen the idea that it is funny to drink. If you make a habit of saying that you’ve had a hard day and you need a drink, this could give your teen the impression that drinking alcohol is a great way to relieve stress.
Find a lawyer
Despite your best efforts, you may find that your teen is involved in a DUI. If this is the case, an accident lawyer in Long Beach can help you and will go the distance to ensure you have the best possible representation. Contact personal injury law office, Belal Hamideh Law, on (562) 526-1224 for a free consultation.