Operating a vehicle while intoxicated is a serious offense no matter who you are. However, when a minor is involved, the consequences can be more severe. While underage drivers (21 and below) account for only 10 percent of the licensed motorists in the U.S, this age group is responsible for close to 15% of alcohol-related accidents.
Pennsylvania has a strict zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking. In fact, any traceable amount of alcohol in a teen’s system can lead to a conviction. This underpins the importance of preventing your teens from drunk driving in the first place.
Here are three things you can do to keep your driving under influence:
Keep alcohol out of your home
If you are in the habit of stocking up your refrigerator with your favorite liquor, then you need to stop. Your teens might be too tempted to keep away from alcohol when there is so much within their reach.
Be the role model they can look up to
It is okay to enjoy a drink from time to time. However, it is important to set an example for your teenagers. Simply put: drink responsibly – and never drink and drive.
Set the record straight when it comes to taking alcohol
It is important that you set the “house rules” and are clear about your expectations regarding drinking. Teens should understand that the law prohibits them from buying and consuming alcohol before they reach 21 years of age. To reinforce your point, remind them of the consequences of underage alcohol possession and consumption.
If your teen does make a mistake, take action: You don’t want a single DUI charge to change the trajectory of their entire future.