Many parents don’t want to consider that their children drink alcohol, but statistics show the majority of high school graduates will have tried alcohol at least once and will have been intoxicated at least once – well before their 21st birthday.
No matter what your personal opinions about underage drinking, the reality is that during the holiday season underage drinking may be an especially considerable problem. Teenagers may be spending time with friends or heading to holiday events where alcohol will be served. It can be difficult to think about this or talk about it with your family, but it’s an important topic. Underage drinking is a danger to your family for two main reasons:
- It can lead to serious health concerns, including a dependence on alcohol or even alcohol poisoning
- It can lead to drunk driving accidents
How to talk to your children about underage drinking
Because of the dangers, it’s important for families to have frank discussions about underage drinking. You may want to review your family’s rules surrounding drinking but also come up with ways to keep your child safe – even if they happen to make a mistake.
For example, many Hollywood families discourage underage drinking but also tell their teenagers that they can always call home for safe ride home if they need to. Unfortunately, teenagers may not call home if they think punishment will be forthcoming because they don’t want to “get into trouble.” You may want to address this fear, by explaining how much worse the consequences might be of not calling for a safe ride home.
Another option is to talk to family and friends and have them talk to your child about underage drinking and driving. Your child may be more likely to listen to an older adult who is not a parent. It’s also possible to get family friends or other family members to offer a safe ride home for your child. That way, if you’re not available or if your child is still too intimidated to ask you for a drive home, they do have other options.
Helping your children understand
It’s important that you discuss drinking and driving with your child, as well. Some children may not realize that drunk driving can happen with just one beverage. They may not know their limits or the effects of drinking yet. Discuss buzzed driving and the dangers of driving even after only one drink. Keep in mind that with smaller weights, teenagers may also be more susceptible to the effects of alcohol – even at lower doses.
Help your child, with several options on how to get home safely. Your child will more likely know what to do if they have several options to choose from. Talk about calling for a ride home, staying over at a friend’s house, calling a cab, and other options. Talking it over can help your teen see there are several alternatives they can use.
If you or a loved one is injured in a drunk driving accident in Hollywood or anywhere in South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. Our caring attorneys work closely with plaintiffs and their families, offering a full array of legal support to people who have been injured.