Keeping a teenager out of trouble can be difficult, but it is a worthy pursuit. You do not want to see your teen get hurt, cause injury to someone else or face criminal penalties for making an unwise decision. But how can you stop your teenage child from drinking and driving?
While you may not be able to control every choice your teen makes, you can help steer him or her in the right direction. The following suggestions can help you keep your teen from getting an underage OUI conviction.
Set a good example
Of course, one of the best ways to teach your child the right thing is to lead by example. Limiting your consumption of alcohol and the availability of it in your household makes it harder for your teen to make the wrong decision. Even if you do have prior OUI convictions, you can explain your regret to your teen and showcase how you do not want him or her to go through the same consequences.
Establish strict rules about alcohol consumption
Whether you take a stricter or more easygoing approach to parenting, it is always a good idea to set boundaries when it comes to substance use. Create a household policy about drinking alcohol. Your teen should know that underage drinking is not only against the law, but it is also against the household rules.
Explain the law
Do not assume your teen understands the seriousness of drinking and driving. Explain that an underage OUI conviction may result in a license suspension, attendance of an alcohol education program and the installation of an ignition interlock device. These penalties may deter your teen from getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Encourage your teen to call for a ride if it is necessary
Everyone slips up. It is normal for a teenager to drink or be around friends who are drunk. While this may be upsetting, explain to your teen that you want him or her to call you or a ridesharing company in this type of situation, rather than drive drunk or be a passenger to a drunk driver.