Peer pressure, society’s demands, and a feeling of invincibility often lead teenagers to make the wrong decisions regarding drunk driving. Unfortunately, sometimes these choices have serious consequences.
Younger adults must understand the risks involved and their obligations once they take the wheel and hit the road to prevent a minor drunk driving conviction.
This article is written to keep teens and young adults in your home who wish to take the first steps toward responsible behavior safe and informed.
What Are The Common Causes Teenagers Drink And Drive?
DUI, DWI, and OWI are abbreviations for driving under the influence, driving intoxicated, and operating a vehicle while impaired. While each state has its rules surrounding underage drinking and driving, they all agree that it is forbidden for anybody under 21.
Teenagers frequently decide to drive after drinking due to peer pressure from their peers or families, who may believe it is acceptable.
Other frequent explanations include a lack of understanding of the potential legal repercussions, a refusal to pay for or organize transportation home after drinking, the belief that driving after drinking is manageable, or an attempt to impress others with “high-risk” behavior.
Although these explanations seem reasonable, it’s important to remember that a DUI conviction can have long-lasting legal and financial repercussions. If anyone is injured in a car accident caused by a young adult [and even adults] while under the influence of alcohol, the penalties may become even more severe.
In a nutshell, DWI can be caused by;
- Peer pressure from friends and family
- Lack of awareness
- Lack of support
- Feeling of invincibility
- Family issues
- Impulsive decision making
What Happens If You’re Convicted Of Minor Drunk Driving?
States have different laws regarding minor drunk driving convictions and their repercussions. Penalties might include fines, license suspension, community service, or even jail time, depending on the offense’s seriousness.
In addition, insurance companies may charge younger drivers with DUI convictions greater premiums, making driving more expensive in the future.
Your teen’s academic record and potential job prospects may suffer if they are found guilty of a DUI or OWI while in high school or college. This means that choosing to drive after drinking could harm their lives in the long run.
How Can Teenagers Avoid Drunk Driving?
Teenagers should refrain from drinking alcohol entirely to avoid a minor DUI charge. If they decide to drink, there are precautions they can take to keep themselves safe, including:
- Before going out or attending social gatherings where alcohol will be provided, always have a plan and choose a sober driver.
- Ensure everyone in the car knows the safety rules and legislation about drunk driving.
- If you don’t have access to a designated driver, call a taxi or use a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft rather than driving yourself home.
- Never drive after drinking, and avoid getting into a car with someone inebriated or high on drugs.
- Know the legal ramifications of your state’s laws against underage drinking and driving.
- Discuss the dangers of teenage driving while intoxicated with your family and friends. If they know all the hazards, they will be less likely to make a mistake when driving home after a night out.
Teens can avoid a minor drunk driving conviction by taking all necessary precautions and remaining alert.
How Can You Encourage Teens To Avoid Drunk Driving?
Parents play a key role in motivating teenagers to abstain from drunk driving. Here are some pointers for guardians and parents:
- Inform your teen about the dangers and repercussions of drinking and driving.
- Make your home feel welcoming so your teen can confide in you about their plans for the evening without worrying about judgment or consequences.
- Instill in them the belief that it is never too late to accept responsibility for a mistake, and exhort them to call you if they ever find themselves in a challenging circumstance after consuming alcohol.
- Remind them that friends don’t let friends drink and drive, even if their peers think it’s okay.
- Be available as a sober driver if needed.
What Are The Mental Health Impacts Of A Minor Drunk Driving Conviction?
A minor drunk driving conviction can have serious mental health impacts. It can cause feelings of
- Low self-esteem.
The legal consequences associated with a DUI or OWI may also increase stress levels.
Parents and guardians should be aware of the emotional impact of a DUI or OWI on their teens and be available to provide support when needed.
Counseling is also recommended to help teens process their feelings about the situation and find ways to move forward.
Drinking and driving is illegal in all states regardless of age – minors included. Teenagers need to be aware of the dangers of driving while intoxicated and the long-term repercussions if they are convicted.
Teenagers should be actively educated by their parents and guardians about the risks of driving while intoxicated and encouraged to make sensible decisions about alcohol intake.
Young adults can avoid legal problems caused by drinking and driving with the right education and support.