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How to talk to your teen about drinking and driving

The moment your teenager obtains a driver's license is the moment you'll have concerns about drinking and driving.

While there's nothing you can do to entirely protect against this, there are some key steps you can take:

  • Explain the dangers: Make it clear to your teen that driving under the influence is extremely dangerous, not to mention against the law. Share statistics, such as those noting how many people were killed in drunk driving accidents in your local area over the past year.
  • Talk about peer pressure: Your teen may not want to drink and drive, but their peers could talk them into it. Give them the knowledge they need to turn down peer pressure.
  • Set a good example: If your teen sees you drinking and driving, they may assume it's okay to do the same. Also, refrain from discussing alcohol in the presence of your teen.
  • Focus on their friends: You want your teen to hang out with others who don't consume alcohol. By getting to know their friends, you'll have a better idea of what kind of people they are.

Even if you talk to your teen about drinking and driving, they could still make a mistake at some point. If this results in their arrest, it's important to step in and do your part to help them.

For example, you'll want to review the charges, learn more about potential penalties and settle on a defense strategy. You may be disappointed in your child, but this isn't a good time to turn your head and let them figure things out on their own.

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