With prom and graduation season right around the corner, both teens and parents should be aware of the dangers associated with driving under the influence. While teenage drunk driving has decreased by 54% since 1991, in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens. Additionally, about a third of teen crashes are alcohol related, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Even if a teen gets away uninjured after a night of drinking and driving, there may still be costly legal consequences. On a teenager’s first conviction, there are fines that can be upwards of $1,500 and jail time up to 93 days. Other alcohol-related charges that a teenager can see are distributing alcohol to other minors, minor in possession, possession of false identification, and potential moving and vehicle maintenance violations. More information about underage drinking offenses can be found on the Michigan Secretary of State website.
Students are not the only ones that can face legal ramifications, parents can be affected as well. Parents can be held liable for property damage and/or personal injuries, even if they were not aware of the party or alcohol being consumed on their property.
Too often students get behind the wheel of a car after celebrating and do not consider the potential damage they can be doing to themselves, as well as the damage they can inflict on other drivers and their loved ones.
Tips for Parents and Preventing Underage Drinking:
Here are some tips from PreventionLane on how parents can prevent underage drinking during prom and graduation season:
Set a good example - Drink responsibly and NEVER drink and drive.
Talk WITH your kids - Know where they are going, who they are going with, and when they will be home. Let your kids know that you are just looking out for their safety and the safety of others. Often kids will feel like they are being talked to by their parents, but it is important for them to feel like their parents are having a conversation instead of a lecture.
Remove temptation - Limit and monitor the alcohol in the fridge and lock the liquor cabinet.
- Talk to your kids’ friends and their parents - Let them know your rules and that you expect your child to follow them no matter where they are.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident caused by drunk driving, call The Michigan Law Firm PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of motor vehicle accidents, including those that are alcohol related. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.