How Do I Talk to My Teen about Underage Drinking?

By Peter DePaolis

As teens are out of school for the summer, it may be a good time to talk to them about the dangers of underage drinking.

Sadly, National Public Radio reported last year that many underage teens are drinking at parties. An estimated 1,100 teens were polled recently by the Prevention Research Center, according to NPR, with 39 percent saying that they attend parties where alcohol use takes place.

Remember, if your teen causes a drunk driving accident that results in an injury or death, not only could he or she face criminal charges, you could be held liable via a lawsuit. Because of safety concerns, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends talking to teens about alcohol by:

  • Encouraging a conversation without admonishing or interrupting them
  • Asking open-ended questions about how they feel about alcohol use
  • Controlling the conversation without becoming emotional
  • Offering constructive advice (maybe sharing stories from your youth)
  • Showing respect for your teen’s viewpoint

As a parent, you should know that your son or daughter might not want to open up about the subject of underage drinking, but it is necessary. Tragically, each year, underage drunk drivers, including teens themselves, kill about 4,700 Americans.

Two Montgomery County Teens Die Following Underage Drinking Party

We bring up underage drinking because recently two teens were killed and two others were injured in Potomac after a car ran off the road and struck several objects.

According to the Associated Press, all of the occupants of the vehicle had recently graduated from or were attending Wootton High School in Rockville. All of the teens were allegedly attending a party prior to the crash where drinking occurred. Cold beers were found in their car following the accident.

The incident remains under investigation. Police said that if adults supplied the teens with alcohol, they might be charged in relation to the crash.

Our Attorneys Represent Drunk Driving Victims

As this story shows, underage drinking can have deadly consequences. If a drunk driver injures you or kills your loved one, speak to our attorneys about your legal rights. You should not have to suffer because someone made a reckless decision.

You can reach us by clicking on the live chat option on this page.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Virginia Injury Attorneys


About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.