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Parents' Advice for Teens on Drunk Driving

If you’re a parent of a teenage son or daughter, you’re concerned about their safety. If you’re like most parents, you’re afraid of them climbing into a car with a drunk driver, or driving drunk themselves. After all, you probably did some stupid things when you were their age. Haven’t we all?

Whether you’re in your 30s, 40s or 50s, it probably seems like yesterday when you were a teenager. During your youth, you may have felt like you were invincible. You might have even driven drunk once or twice when you were a kid, which is why parents of teens know quite well what their own kids could do when they’re out partying with friends. It’s a scary reality that all parents are all too aware of.

Even Boy Scouts Get DUIs

You might have a straight A student, a Boy or Girl Scout, or an honor student who tutors math to help other kids out. They could be the best kid in the world, but that doesn’t mean they won’t succumb to peer pressure in an effort to “look cool” or binge drink one night and try to drive home without even realizing it.

If you’ve already tried to “scare your kid straight” but you’re still worried that the message hasn’t sunk in, here are some other words of advice to give them:

1. California is a “zero tolerance” state.
This means that the .08% BAC rule doesn’t apply to people under the age of 21. Your teenager can get a DUI if they are caught driving with any detectable alcohol in their system – even one beer!

2. They can get a DUI for prescriptions, Spice or marijuana.
Lots of teens these days smoke pot, use synthetic marijuana known as “Spice” and drive under the influence of prescription medications. They need to know that they can get a DUI for driving under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance, including their ADHD medication.

3. They’ll lose their license.
If a teen is convicted of a simple DUI in California, they’ll likely lose their driver’s license for one year. They also face fines, community service, and mandatory DUI school, up to five years of DUI probation, and time in county jail.

4. A DUI can block educational opportunities.
A DUI can be a problem when it comes to college. Some colleges won’t accept an applicant with a DUI. If an applicant lies about their DUI and the college later finds out, the student can be kicked out. If a student is trying to get a scholarship, they can lose it because of their criminal record. Some college sport teams won’t allow a student to join or remain on a team with a DUI. In some cases, a DUI can ruin a kid’s college dreams.

5. Tell your kid you’ll be their DD any time.
Sure, we hope that our teens won’t drink until they’re 21 and mature enough to drink responsibly, but how realistic is that expectation? As parents, it’s critically important that we tell our kids that they can call us any time day or night for a ride if they have been drinking, or if their “ride” has been drinking.

Even if we encourage them to call Uber or Lyft instead of waking us up at 2:00 a.m., that doesn’t mean that they won’t have the money one night, or that they won’t need us for some other reason. Like the old saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry,” and there’s no worse pain than losing a child to drunk driving. So, if you usually turn your phone on silent when you go to bed, it may be time to turn the volume back on in case you get a call in the middle of the night from your son or daughter!

When You Need an Orange County DUI Attorney

If you gave your teen all of the lectures in the world and they still managed to get a DUI, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for help. Attorney Virginia Landry is not only a member of the National College for DUI Defense, she’s a Board-Certified DUI defense specialist. When your kid deserves nothing but the best, contact our office for the hard-hitting defense they need!