As a parent, one of the scariest things to imagine is your teenage son or daughter drinking and driving or getting into a car with another teen who has been drinking, especially since you know teens make this mistake all too often.
According to MAAD, ending teenage drinking and driving starts by preventing underage drinking in the first place. MAAD says that if we can get our teenagers off to a good start by preventing underage drinking, we are “taking a giant step forward fulfilling our vision of a nation without drunk driving.” That’s why MAAD is focused on tackling underage alcohol consumption, a problem that not only threatens our children’s safety but places our communities in danger, now and in the future.
What Are the Solutions?
What’s the #1 solution? It’s COMMUNICATION. Your child’s leading resource about the dangers of drinking and driving is you. To succeed in educating your child, you want to have conversations with him or her about the dangers of alcohol and drugs and how they impact people’s ability to drive safely.
You may not realize it, but you have more power than you think. According to MAAD, teenagers list their parents as one of the major influencers in their decision to avoid drinking alcohol before their 21st birthday.
If your attitude about underage drinking is too casual, it could backfire on you and your teen may think underage drinking is “no big deal,” but if you frown upon it, your voice will be in the back of their mind when someone offers them a drink.
Underage Drinking is Illegal
Not only is underage drinking dangerous, but it’s downright illegal. If your teenager tries to purchase alcohol, or if they give it away to another teen, or if they drive with an open container, or if they drink and drive, or if they possess alcohol and are caught, they are breaking the law and can face criminal charges. Underage DWI is illegal too and can lead to various criminal penalties for a teenager.