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Studies show that teens are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol than adults. As seen in the video above, the results can be devastating.
To avoid this painful reality, make sure your teen practices safe driving habits every time he or she gets behind the wheel. Discourage them from drinking altogether, reminding them how common drunk driving accidents are and that their actions affect not only them, but everyone around them.
How to Get Your Teen to Listen
Obviously, teens love to feel accepted by their peers and often give in to peer pressure in the moment. However, just one drink consumed at a party can have a major impact on what happens after the party if the teen acts irresponsibly. Make sure to tell your teen this, and encourage them to wait at the party at least an hour before driving, adding an additional hour for every drink consumed. Better yet, see if he or she can spend the night with the host of the party to avoid driving altogether. This way, the chance of an accident happening is reduced to none at all.
Teach your teen from an early age about drunk driving. Show him or her the above video, and explain how a car accident can alter peoples’ lives forever. Ask your teen to put him or herself in a mother’s shoes who has just lost her son to a drunk driver. Ask your teen how he or she would feel in that situation, and how he or she would cope with life after the crash.
According to statistics from the FBI, almost 300,000 people drive drunk every single day, but only 4,000 of those people are arrested. The potential for possible accidents from drunk driving is overwhelming. Make sure your teen knows that he or she could be a part of those statistics if he or she decides to drive drunk.
Discourage alcohol use altogether; don’t let your teen try drinks at home, and tell them the consequences if you catch him or her drunk after driving. Make sure you have clear rules about drinking, and revoke their driving privileges if they drive home from somewhere drunk. While this may seem harsh, the lives of your teen and other drivers are too important to treat haphazardly. If their friends drive them home after a night of drinking, that’s a different story, as long as the person driving had no alcohol that night, or at least waited an hour after every drink consumed.
Remind them that a fun night out with friends can quickly turn into a nightmare if they treat drinking like a game. Tell them to stand strong in the face of peer pressure; after all, their friends could be victims in a drunk driving accident that night due to your teen’s poor decisions. Make sure to tell your teen that drinking and driving involves serious consequences most of the time, and that risking his or her life for the sake of partying with friends is just not worth it.
While your teen may lash out at you and disagree with your rules, in the end he or she will thank you for saving his or her life, and the lives of many other innocent drivers.
Read this article for ideas on to how your teen can stop their friends from driving under the influence as well.
Derek B (Feb 24, 2014) – “Dangers of Underage Drinking and Driving: Jacqui’s Story”