How serious is underage drinking during the holidays? According to information from the Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than 11,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 17 years will try alcohol for the first time on any given day during December. With approximately 400 young people under the age of 21 years dying each month from alcohol-related causes, underage drinking is an extremely serious problem during the holidays and throughout the entire year.
As an experienced Massachusetts DUI accident attorney, I see the devastation caused by drinking and driving for victims and their families. This holiday season, take steps to prevent drinking and driving by protecting your teen driver from underage drinking.
Talk to Your Teenager About Underage Drinking
Talking to your teen driver is the first step you can take to protect your teenager from the dangers of drunk driving. Underage drinking is not a subject your teen wants to discuss; however, it is a subject that you must discuss. Tips for talking to your child about underage drinking include:
- Before you being, do your research. Collect facts about teen drinking and how drinking alcohol affects You can find information about underage drinking and how alcohol affects a developing brain from SAMHSA.
- Choose the right time to discuss underage drinking with your teen. Find a news article about a DUI accident involving a teen driver to jump start a conversation. When you do discuss underage drinking, choose a time when there are no distractions so that you and your teen can focus solely on your conversation.
- Listen to your teen. You need to give your teen information; however, you also need to listen to your teenager. Ask your teenager how he or she would handle a situation of peer pressure or if he or she has encountered peer pressure to drink alcohol. Discuss having a safe word your teen can text if he or she feels uncomfortable and needs your help.
- Make your expectations absolutely clear — your teen should not consume alcoholic beverages until he or she is of legal age.
- Discuss underage drinking laws and the penalties for a conviction, especially about future college plans, job opportunities, playing sports, driving, and other negative consequences of an underage drinking conviction and/or DUI conviction.
If you have questions or concerns about discussing underage drinking with your child, consult with your child’s teacher, guidance counselor, spiritual advisor, or family physician. For more information, visit the Parent Resources page of the SAMHSA. You can also get more information about underage drinking from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Do You Need a Massachusetts DUI Accident Attorney?
We hope that you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season; however, for some, a drunk driver will steal your joy. If a drunk or impaired driver injures you, you do not have to face the situation alone. Our Massachusetts DUI accident attorneys have experience handling these types of accident claims. Allow our team to take care of your injury claim while you focus on your health and your recovery.
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