Did you know that alcohol is among the most commonly abused substances in the United States? Every year, about 5,000 people under 21 die from underage drinking. Motor vehicle crashes cause about 1,900 deaths. If you catch your teen drinking, you must take action immediately. Here are a few critical steps to take.

What to Do If Your Teen is Caught Drunk Driving - vehicle, teen, drunk, drive, alcohol

1. Talk to Them

While you might be angry and disappointed, you must maintain open communication lines. Good communication shouldn’t feel like they are getting the third degree. Stay calm and ensure that you are passing your points across effectively.

Note that it is only possible to have productive communication if you are willing to listen. Try to understand their point of view before explaining why they are wrong. Most teens will be receptive when they feel understood.

Ask open-ended questions if you are trying to understand their thought process. This results in a more productive and engaging conversation. Find out why they are interested in drinking and if they understand the dangers of drunk driving.

Offer compassion and acknowledge that everyone struggles somehow. Recommend healthier ways to cope with daily-life stresses and foster trust/

2. Consider Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Does your teen need treatment for alcohol abuse? You may need to examine the situation closely if they have been caught drunk driving. Don’t dismiss it as ‘normal teen behavior’ or a ‘one-time thing.’ It could be a sign of addiction or other struggles.

Get the help of a professional to determine if they are struggling with alcohol dependence. They may recommend addiction treatment services.

3. Enforce Penalties

Your teen needs to know that actions have consequences. Drunk driving must carry consequences even if your teen isn’t caught by law enforcement. Come up with appropriate punishments depending on your parenting style and your child’s age. Take their keys until you are sure that they’ve learned a lesson.

4. Who served alcohol to your teen? Are you eligible for some form of compensation?

Find out where your child got alcohol. If they are arrested for drunk driving, seek legal help instead of handling the issue on your own.

You might be eligible for compensation if an adult offered alcohol to them. However, you must prove that the adult offered the drink or allowed your child to drink in their home. Reputable lawyers for car accidents will ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

If your teen is caught drunk driving, the process can be long and confusing. You need an experienced lawyer to guide you through it all. If your child was injured when driving, a lawyer might help you seek compensation.

5. Ensure It Doesn’t Happen Again

Put in measures to ensure your teen understands the dangers of drunk driving and never does it again. Unfortunately, peer pressure is a thing, and teens always try to fit in. They experiment with drugs and need your guidance to stay on the right path. Here are a few parenting strategies to minimize the risk of problematic behavior.

  • Be clear about the consequences of alcohol and drug abuse
  • Work with other parents to ensure that your kids cannot access alcohol. Parties should be supervised, and you should make a pact to keep an eye on each other’s kids
  • Put a no drunk-driving rule in writing
  • Reward responsible behavior
  • Set a good example for your teen.

In conclusion, driving is a privilege for your teens. You must ensure that they are doing it safely. If they are caught drunk driving, you need to take immediate action. Ensure that they understand the consequences of their behavior and don’t do it again. Seek the help of a lawyer if you need help navigating the process.