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Initiating a conversation with your teen about drunk driving

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Drinking and driving is a dangerous combination that can result in devastating consequences. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, and a significant percentage of these crashes involve underage drunk drivers.

Suppose you’re a parent to a teenager who just got their learner’s permit or full driving license. In that case, you need to ensure that they understand the risks and ramifications of drinking and driving. Initiating a conversation about drinking and driving can be daunting, but it’s essential for the safety and well-being of your child.

Setting the stage for the discussion

Before diving into the conversation, creating a supportive and non-judgmental environment is crucial. Choose a time when you and your teen are calm and relaxed, with no distractions. This could be while doing chores together or during a designated “talk time” at home.

Establishing ground rules

Start by setting clear ground rules regarding alcohol consumption and driving. Make it clear that under no circumstances is it acceptable to drink and drive and that there are consequences for breaking this rule. Establishing ground rules reinforces the importance of making responsible decisions and prioritizing safety.

Providing information and education

During the conversation, provide factual information about the dangers of drinking and driving. Share statistics about accidents and fatalities related to alcohol-impaired driving. Don’t forget to highlight the legal repercussions for those who are caught driving under the influence. Use real-life examples or news stories to illustrate the potential consequences.

Encouraging open communication

Encourage your teen to ask any burning questions and express their thoughts and feelings openly. Listen actively without interrupting or passing judgment. Validate their emotions and concerns, and reassure them that they can come to you for support and guidance whenever they need it.

Initiating a conversation with your teen about drinking and driving is a critical step in promoting their safety and well-being. Given all that is at stake, remember to lead by example and seek additional support whenever needed.