As we head into summer, many teens will have more free time. This means trips to the beach, parties and hours where they’re unsupervised by parents or other adults. Of course, that means that more teens will be drinking and driving.
The consequences of underage drinking and driving can include serious and even fatal injuries. They can also include getting a criminal record before they’ve started college.
Even if they don’t get behind the wheel after they drink or get in the car with a driver who has been, underage drinking can have life-altering and life-ending results. Binge drinking can result in alcohol poisoning. Fatal falls such as that suffered by a Penn State student who died during a fraternity hazing incident can occur when someone has had too much to drink.
Parents may feel like they have little or no influence over their teens when it comes to alcohol consumption. However, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, that’s not true. Their Power of Parents program gives parents tools to talk with their kids about the dangers of alcohol.
Parental impact isn’t just based on talking to them about these dangers, your expectations and the consequences if they break the rules, although that’s essential. It’s important to let kids know that you don’t want them to drink because you care about them — not because it’s just one more way of showing your authority over them.
Having an influence on your kids and keeping them out of trouble is a full-time job. It’s not just a sit-down now and then. Pay attention to what your kids are doing and who they’re hanging out with. Take time to listen to what they have to say.
Family dinners are becoming rarer that they were when most of us were growing up. However, they’re a good way for the whole family to touch base and find out what’s going on in each other’s lives.
When kids are arrested for underage drinking and drunk driving, it may be tempting to let them suffer the consequences to teach them a lesson. However, those consequences can impact their chances of getting into college and receiving a scholarship. Their ability to get a job later may also be compromised. It’s essential to seek experienced legal advice to minimize these consequences and protect your child’s rights.
Source: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, “Underage Drinking Peaks in the Summer,” accessed May 30, 2017