Protecting Your Teen From An Underage Drinking Charge
From the day their children are born, parents seek ways to protect them and teach them right from wrong. This worry over their personal safety and wellness does not end once their children reach their teenage years. In fact, those years bring a unique set of intense challenges that include teaching teens about the dangers of underage drinking. With recent studies indicating that over 21% of all teenagers have tried alcoholic beverages by the time they reach age 16, this lesson about underage drinking has never been more important.
Parents can protect their children and put them on a path of responsibility and happiness when they take certain precautions to help their teens avoid a future plagued by the consequences of underage alcoholism.
Talk about Alcohol Early and Frequently
Many parents make the mistake of talking to their kids about alcoholism until their children reach their pre-teen or teenage years. While it is good to keep the lines of dialogue open between themselves and their young teen children, parents should actually start teaching them about the dangers of underage drinking earlier. When a child is old enough to understand what alcohol is and how it can be dangerous to people’s lives, parents can begin to teach their young ones about avoiding underage drinking altogether.
Children may act bored and frustrated, even going so far as to protest these lessons; however, they also may internalize that advice and keep it close when they are faced with the pressure to drink alcohol.
Set Rules and Follow Through with Consequences
At some point, parents of teenagers must trust their children enough to let them go to parties, out with friends, and to other extracurricular events unescorted. Before their teens are out the door, however, parents should lay down the ground rules for underage drinking and make sure their teens understand the consequences of what will happen if they are caught drinking alcohol.
If their teens break these rules, parents should follow through with their promised punishments. Many parents today are tempted to overlook this offense, particularly if no one got hurt and their car was not wrecked. However, teenagers will never learn to follow the family’s rules about underage drinking if they are not punished accordingly.
Keep an Attorney on Retainer
Despite the strictest of ground rules and the most willing of parents to talk about the challenges of underage drinking, many teens still decide to drink alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car. Their combined youth and inexperience with driving often leads to deadly results. In fact, one study conducted by the Century Council found that more than 1200 teenagers died in drunk driving accidents in 2011.
When such an event occurs, parents of teenage drunk drivers are often at a loss of what to do to protect their teens’ futures. Before they or their teens talk with anyone, sign any legal document, or admit to anything in court, parents are encouraged to hire a lawyer immediately.
With legal counsel by their side, whether that means an Orlando DUI lawyer or one from New York, families can go through the legal process of defending their teen against drunk driving charges. They can also make sure that the victims of these wrecks are also properly addressed.
Parents want their children to grow up happy and protected. When their kids reach their teen years, however, protecting their young ones from the dangers of underage drinking can be more of a challenge. Following important recommendations, being aware of the frequency of which drunk driving accidents happen among that age group, and hiring competent legal counsel can be vital when parents want the best for their teens.
Author and freelance artist Molly Pearce is also a mother and concerned motorist. She writes this post to encourage parents to stay abreast of what’s going on in their teenager’s life. Orlando DUI lawyer firm Katz & Phillips, P.A. are also advocates of teen sobriety, and have defended hundreds of underage drinkers over the past 10 years.
Photo credit- http://www.flickr.com/photos/statefarm/9734369016/
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