As an adult with many years of life experience under your belt, you’re well aware of the dangers associated with driving under the influence of alcohol.
However, just because you understand this is a big mistake doesn’t mean your children are as well informed. And for that reason, you must step it to talk to them about the risks associated with DUI.
While there’s no right or wrong way to talk to your children about underage DUI, there are some things you can do to ease the tension during this conversation:
- Talk to your child early on: The day that your child gets their driver’s license is the day you should talk to them about driving under the influence. Don’t let any time pass, as you want to make it clear early on that this is one of the biggest mistakes they can make as a driver.
- Talk about alcohol in general: Even if your child isn’t driving, they should realize that it’s illegal to consume alcohol before they reach the age of 21. There’s nothing you can do to guarantee this, but you should still have this conversation.
- Tell them how it doesn’t take a lot: Many younger drivers believe that it takes several drinks, at a minimum, to become too drunk to drive. But this isn’t true. A single beer can lead to a criminal DUI charge. And that’s why there’s never a good time to consume alcohol and driver. The legal limit for DUI is much lower for someone who is under the age of 21.
- Talk about the consequences: This is one of the most powerful things you can do. Be sure your child understands the potential impact of a DUI conviction on their future. Consequences can include fines, community service, loss of college scholarships and a license suspension among others.
You can’t watch your children at every hour of the day, but you can take steps to protect them against the dangers of drinking and driving.
Should your child make a mistake and end up in trouble with the law, learn more about the legal system and how you can protect them.