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Even though the above is a New Zealand production, the message is universal. Every day in real life teens find themselves in situations where they have the opportunity to stop a friend who has been drinking from driving, and the results of them not doing so can be dire for their friend, other drivers on the road, or themselves if they get in the car with an intoxicated driver. That’s why it’s important to make your teen aware of these situations ahead of time, and give them suggestions of what they can do if they find themselves in a similar position at a party or a restaurant.
To start a conversation about the topic, you can show them the above video and then ask your teen if they understand why it’s so important they always do every thing in their power to stop anyone who has been drinking, from driving.
Brainstorm with them about ways they can intervene. Encourage your teen to ask other sober friends if they can drive the person home, or if someone’s parents can come to get them. Offer to be that driver and support system for your teen and/or his or her friends. Your teen should feel completely comfortable asking you for help in a situation like this, and should not be scolded for drinking; rather, they should be praised for asking you to come get them instead of getting behind the wheel of a car.
Tell your teen that if they get into a situation where you or someone else is not available to drive the person, remind them that, as seen in the video, often the best solution is to suggest to their friend that they stay where they are and sleep off their intoxication.
Show more videos related to drunk driving to your teen, and pull up statistics about drunk driving to convey the seriousness of the crime. Every day, lives are lost to drunk driving, and families are torn apart because of it.
Visit MADD.org. It’s an excellent source for tools that can teach teens about the ramifications of drunk driving. Any bit of exposure helps and can make the difference between him or her getting behind the wheel, or spending the night at a friend’s house instead.
When bartenders notice that someone is drunk at a restaurant, they stop serving them drinks. Also, good bartenders call a cab for them or ask other patrons if they can give the person a ride. Many people choose to take responsibility for the person if that person is too impaired to take responsibility for him or herself. While getting that drunk in public shouldn’t be encouraged, everyone should be told to help out if they can so that innocent lives aren’t lost due to one person’s bad decisions. Drunk drivers can cause serious problems, and not just for other drivers. If pedestrians or bicyclists are in the road, they are all in danger of being hit by the drunk driver.
Teach your teen that by not taking action and getting involved in a situation that could take people’s lives, he or she becomes part of the problem. Teach them that jumping into situations where people could get hurt or die can keep people safe and positively impact the person and their entire family. Remind them that you would want someone to jump in to save their life, and your teen should offer that same courtesy and compassion to others.
Finally, remind your teen how their insurance rates can be impacted and that their drivers license will be completely revoked if they are caught drinking and driving.