It’s hard to watch your kids grow up. Sooner or later, you’re faced with the knowledge that you can’t always be with them, can’t make all their choices for them and won’t always be there to protect them from themselves.
That brings us to the subject of drinking and driving. Before your teen gets their driver’s license, you need to have a serious conversation with them about the dangers of drinking and driving. Discuss with them your expectations for how they will handle themselves — both now and in the future.
You also need to directly address many of the myths about drinking and driving that are out there. The odds are good that your teen has heard a few of them (and may even believe them). Your teen should know:
- There’s no safe amount of alcohol to have in your system. It doesn’t matter if they ate before they drank or only had one beer. Driving while buzzed is just as dangerous as driving drunk.
- You can’t sober up with caffeine. Your teen can pound down a double shot of espresso or a couple of extra-strength Red Bulls, but that just means they’ll be a little more alert — not sober.
- Showers, cold water splashes and leaving the window down when you drive don’t work. The only thing that will combat the disorientation and “high” that comes from drinking is time.
- Driving slowly isn’t the answer. In fact, driving too slowly is a sure way to attract unwanted police attention and find yourself facing charges.
Teach your teen early — before they experiment with alcohol — that it’s smart to stay put wherever they are if they’ve been drinking. A drunk driving charge is nothing that they want to deal with this early in their life (or ever).