Last June, a 19-year-old drove after a party with his three friends just after graduation and crashed. According to the report, the teen driver crashed through a fence, smashed into some trees and the car went airborne before landing upside down in a driveway in flames. Police went on to say speed, alcohol and a lack of seatbelts for the backseat passengers were all factors in this drunk driving accident. The driver was found to have a blood alcohol level of .09, which is .07 over the legal limit in Maryland for drivers under the age of 21. Of the passengers in the car, two 18-years-old died while the third victim suffers from a serious spinal cord injury.
This month, the teenage drunk driver was sentenced to four years in prison with five years of probation, for which he will have an ignition interlock system installed in his car.
Parents Must Be Open With Their Children About the Risks of Drinking and Driving
Teenagers are cursed with an invincible mentality, where they hear how dangerous drinking and driving is. Yet, they believe these horrible situations would never happen to them. Peer pressure certainly does not help this. However, as a parent, you have the responsibility to start a conversation about teenage drunk driving early on, set some rules and reduce the risk by doing the following.
- Set some rules, lay out your expectations and make sure you communicate the consequences if your teenager breaks the rules
- Be consistent in enforcing the rules you’ve laid out for your teen
- Set several times for your teenagers to check in while they’re out
- Communicate with other parents throughout the evening
- Make yourself available to help make it easier for your teen to leave a party if alcohol is present
- Make sure your teenager is comfortable with calling you for help getting a ride home
- Ask who your teen will be with while they’re out, what they’re doing, when they will be back and how they plan on returning home
It can be awkward to think about what you want to say to your young one about drunk driving, but it’s something each parent must do in order to help educate kids on the risks for injury and death. Studies have proven children who grow up in no-use households with strong messages are less likely to drive after consuming drugs and alcohol.
The Washington, D.C. personal injury attorneys at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP helps victims of drunk driving accidents.