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What Parents Can Do to Prevent Their Teens from Driving Drunk

According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), a teenage motorist driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% is approximately 17 times more likely be involved in an accident.This is a category of motorists that research has shown to be inexperienced, more susceptible to peer pressure, and more likely to engage in risky driving.When alcohol or other intoxicants are added to the mix, the risks of an accident significantly increase.
The CDC believes that reducing the risk of teenage drunk driving accidents should not be dependent on federal, state, and local law enforcement alone, but is also the responsibility of communities, schools and parents.Recently, another new study illustrated just how strong peer pressure can be in influencing teenagers to drink and drive.The study clearly found that when high school seniors had friends in their social circle who drove intoxicated, they were much more likely to do the same.When teenagers have friends who engage in self-destructive behaviors, those same behaviors seem cool to an impressionable young adult.

If you’re the parent of a teenage motorist, it’s also important to understand that there is no such thing as social drinking for a teenage motorist.Most teenagers who drink do so to feel buzzed.Therefore, expecting teenagers to go out, drink, and yet remain sober is unrealistic.Binge drinking is far more popular among teenagers than with any other category of motorists, and teenagers are much more likely to drink irresponsibly.

As a parent, you can set down strict rules about underage drinking in your household.Be very careful about providing alcohol to your child or their friends in an effort to appear “cool” or monitor the situation.Such practices only make underage drinking acceptable for your child, not to mention the fact that it could also place you at risk of criminal charges and civil liability because the law forbids adults from providing a minor with alcohol.

Parents also need to have an open relationship with their children in which the children can be assured that the parent will come and pick them up from aparty, instead of the teen having to travel with a motorist who has been drinking.It also goes without saying that parents must avoid intoxicated driving themselves.

Keeping our youth safe is our most important priority.