It’s never been a more hazardous time to be on the roads. Drivers are more distracted than ever, and while many parents have the conversation about texting or smartphone use behind the wheel, many neglect to talk about alcohol. While overall trends show that drunk driving is on the decline, it still presents a serious issue for today’s family. Too many people make the assumption that, since drinking is illegal for those under 21, their kids aren’t participating in alcohol-related activities, and/or aren’t getting in cars with those who are.
However, the truth is, some teens experiment with alcohol, and may end up behind the wheel, or in a vehicle with an inebriated friend. Car accident rates are already high in teen drivers, but when you add booze to the mix, things can be especially deadly. Here are some tips on how to talk to your kids about drinking and driving:
- Allow for honesty
Many teens are too scared to talk to their parents about their drinking, which prevents them from reaching out for help when they’re under the influence, or when they need a sober ride home. Try to encourage an atmosphere of nonjudgmental honesty, and help your kids feel safe talking to you.
- Be available
If you know your kid is going out with friends, or may be in a situation where there might be alcohol, do your best to be available, physically and emotionally. Offer to pick them up- no questions asked- and offer your support if they seem to be struggling personally, or concerned about a friend who is drinking.
- Use technology
These days, we have cutting-edge tech at our fingertips, and this can help prevent DUIs and alcohol-related car accidents. Install apps on your teen’s phone that help them calculate their BAC, report drunk drivers, and call for help. You may also buy a special car key breathalyzer that prevents vehicle operation when the driver is impaired.
- Educate them
There are many wonderful resources out there for teen drivers and their parents. Take advantage of classes, workshops, and trainings in your area, that are designed to prevent DUIs and help kids stay safe on the roads. Many of these are eligible to reduce insurance rates, and other perks.
If you need help with a recent DUI charge, or want more tips on how to stay safe behind the wheel, reach out to us at the law office of E.J. Boswell and ask for your free consultation.