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Steps Parents Can Take To Keep Their Teens From Drinking and Driving

Drunk driving has been a problem in the United States for decades.

In 2016 alone, 10,497 people lost their lives in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

And though the CDC also states that the percentage of high school teens who drink and drive has fallen by more than half since 1991, the fact that one in seven teens binge drinks should give parents raising teenagers more than enough reason to worry.

As a parent, you need to do more to ensure that your teenager will not become just another teen drink driving statistic. Don’t hesitate to be more proactive in keeping your teen away from the dangers of drinking and driving, even if it takes an interlock installation to do it.

You can start by taking the following steps to prevent them from drinking and driving.

Tell Them They’re Not Allowed To Consume Alcohol

Teens, by law, are prohibited from imbibing alcohol. They’re not legally allowed to buy or drink alcohol until they’re 21. Remind your teens of this law and let them know that there are legal penalties for violating it.

Don’t forget to tell them that they should never drink and drive under any circumstances as well. 

California has a strict zero-tolerance law. Teenagers caught driving around Los Angeles with even a negligible amount of alcohol in their bloodstream will be subjected to a one-year driver’s license suspension.

Suppose their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels reach 0.05% at the time they were stopped. In that case, they will be charged with underage DUI, a conviction for which could lead to hefty fines and mandatory alcohol education programs. Their license to drive will also be suspended for a year.

It will also help if you drive home the fact that tens of thousands of lives have already been lost to drunk driving.

Also, inform them that domestic consequences await if you ever catch them drinking. You can ground them or take away their car keys if they ever drink alcohol while still a minor. That way, they’ll know how you really feel about the idea of them drinking.

Setting An Example Is The Way To Go

You can’t tell your teens not to drink alcohol then proceed to down a beer right in front of them.

In situations where you’re imposing a rule on kids, it’s always best to set an example for them to follow. If you’re in the habit of having an occasional drink, it’s time to stop. If giving up alcohol is out of the question, then you should at least make sure that your kids don’t see you when you get that drink.

Also, quit stocking beer in the fridge or stowing liquor in cabinets and drawers. You can reduce the risk of underage drinking if your home is an alcohol-free zone.

Set Rules About Alcohol-Drinking Friends

Consider yourself fortunate if none of your teen’s friends drink, but it’s beyond your control if a drinker makes it into their circle. You can’t choose your teens’ friends for them.

What you can do in this case is set rules that will limit the time your teen spends with such friends, like regulating their after-school hours or implementing an earlier curfew.

Installing An IID In The Car

The installation of an ignition interlock device or IID in your teen’s car may be a more serious measure, but it will guarantee that your teen will never be able to drive if he or she has consumed alcohol.

An IID prevents a car engine from starting if the breath sample the driver provides by blowing into the device yields a BAC that is at or over a preset limit, usually 0.02%. If your teen is alcohol-free, then there should be no problem starting the car.

Your teen’s life is precious, and it’s your duty to ensure that they make it through to adulthood just fine. Implement the recommendations above and protect your teen from the dangers of drunk driving.

If you’re looking for more resources on DUI, drinking and driving, and alcoholism, feel free to explore the resources below:

What To Do If Arrested For DUI

Alcoholism Resources

If you need a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles, contact Jon Artz today.

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