Mother with her teenage daughters enjoying in fast food restaurant

Have you talked to your teen about the dangers of driving drunk? Are they aware of the legal consequences of DUI or DWI? Parents of teens often like to believe that their teen is not at risk. Contrary to this belief, trusted sources indicate that most teens are at considerable risk for DUI.

1 in 5 teens admits to driving under the influence of marijuana.

1 in 4 teens says they would take a ride from a driver who was high.

1 in 8 teens says that being impaired by marijuana is not distracting while driving.

*The above stats were pulled from a Liberty Mutual/SADD 2011 Teen Driving Report.

DWI Parenting Tips: Preventing Drunk Driving for Teens

Parenting choices that you make during your child’s teen years and the conversations you have with your teen matter. Make sure you are parenting in a way that decreases your teen’s susceptibility to risky behaviors and boosts their safety.

  1. Clear Rules Against Drinking: Hands-on parents who establish clear expectations, monitor their child’s comings and goings, and regularly tell their children “no” have teens that are four times less likely to engage in drinking and driving and other similarly risky behaviors. Even before your teen has a license or a car be very clear that drinking and driving is never okay.
  2. Openly Monitor Teens: Don’t just monitor your child’s behavior – be open that you are observing their behavior. Wait at the front door and give them a hug accompanied by smelling them for liquor. Look at their eyes to check for redness when they get home. Ask them to talk to you about the party they attended (and listen to see if they’re slurring their words). Pay attention to see if they are actively covering the smell of alcohol with gum or mints.
  3. Work with Other Parents: Other parents can be your allies as you try to help your teen learn to stay safe from the dangers of DUIs or DWIs. 99% of parents say they would not serve alcohol at a kids’ party, but 28% of teens say they have attended parent-supervised parties where alcohol was available. Know your teen’s friends and their parents. Discuss the issue with the other parents and work together to avoid the possibility of unsupervised parties or supervised parties where your teen will have access to alcohol.
  4. Create a Safety Net: Don’t expect perfection from your teen, but let them know that the one mistake that will never be acceptable is driving impaired or getting in the car with an impaired driver. Offer them a safety net to use if the situation ever arises. Some parents set up an Uber or Lyft account on their child’s phone, including payment information. If they need a ride to avoid a dangerous situation, they can catch an Uber or a Lyft. The app automatically bills the ride to the parent’s credit card saved in the billing info.

DUIs (sometimes referred to as DWI or OUI) can carry serious consequences for teens. Parents who wish to help their teens stay safe and protect their future should sit down with them and honestly share with them not only the physical and emotional dangers of drunk driving but the legal difficulties that can follow. Teens who face DUI charges enter adulthood with significant added challenges that can affect their employment opportunities, social life, educational opportunities, and more.

If your teen is facing DUI or DWI charges, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of the experienced DWI lawyers at Aronow Law PC today. Let us help prepare your teen’s DWI defense to minimize the adverse effects on their future.