Drinking and driving is widely understood to be an unacceptable action on the part of anyone, regardless of their age. Adults often have the experience and means necessary to avoid ending up in a situation where that's a likely outcome, but that isn't necessarily the case with teens or young adults. Unfortunately, opening that dialog with your son or daughter isn't always easy, so having some strategies and talking points can help get the conversation started.
Warming Up Your Audience
Broaching the subject of drinking with your teen is already tricky, but it's a good jumping off point for other topics, including drunk driving, drug use and others. In this context, the earlier you discuss alcohol use, its effects and the consequences of misuse, the less difficult those future conversations will be. If your nine or ten year old child knows what alcohol is and what it does to a person, you'll already have the foundation for conversations with them in the future.
When that same child is a teenager, thinking about the possibility of having a car and a license to drive it, revisit the subject in this new set of circumstances. Remind your child of the physical and mental effect of alcohol on the body, and the legal ramifications of underage drinking. Most importantly, give them alternative options, such as letting them know to contact you, or call a cab, from where ever they are. Any alternative is better than getting into a car that is being operated by an intoxicated person.
Drive the Point Home
Some kids are more resistant to lessons from their parents than others, and if that's the case it may be appropriate to bring in help. Lawyers who specialize in DUI defense, police officers and people who have been through DUI collisions can all be viable resources if you're willing to reach out. Many people within these groups are happy to help prevent future DUI cases, especially when teens are involved.
Often, lawyers who represent DUI cases are the best place to start, since they have regular interaction with law enforcement and may have connections with local treatment facilities. Using them as a resource for furthering your teen's education on the subject will also help to take it out of the context of a parent/child talk and make for a more weighty dialog.
The most effective way for your teen to avoid a DUI charge is to help prevent them from being in those circumstances. Teaching them the consequences, educating them on their options, and giving them the means necessary will ensure that the legal system won't need to handle the disciplinary consequences of their choices. For more information about drunk driving, contact a lawyer such as Elgart Ronald H.