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Talking to your teen about drunk driving

It’s not an easy conversation to have when you sit down with your teenager for a talk about drunk driving. Young people often tune their elders out, thinking they already know best about most things.

Young adults in Georgia and elsewhere also can believe they are invincible and nothing can harm them. This applies even if they vow never to operate a vehicle after drinking and promise never to ride in a car driven by a drunken friend.

It does happen, though, and the consequences can be devastating and lethal. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that more than 2,000 people died in 2019 in accidents involving teenagers. Think of all the grieving family members and shattered dreams that resulted from all those deadly — and probably preventable — accidents.

Choose a good time to discuss drunk driving with your teen

Don’t delay having this discussion. There’s never an ideal moment to have this talk with your teen, but the sooner you have it, the better. Here are a few suggestions for appropriate occasions to bring up this important topic:

  • Doing household chores together
  • While shopping together for school clothes or supplies
  • While the two of you take a walk
  • When your teen wants to use the car
  • When they seek permission to ride with a friend to an event

Make sure that your teen knows exactly what you expect. Develop a plan for them to get home safely from a party or sports event when there is no sober driver available.

Make sure they understand the penalties they could face

Be firm when you have this conversation with your teen about drinking and driving. You’ll never regret the time you spend with your child talking about this urgent subject and the negative consequences a DUI conviction carries.

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