If your children are under the age of 21 and cannot legally purchase or drink alcohol, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about drunk driving. Underage drunk driving accidents in Homestead, Hollywood, Miami, and other Florida communities, unfortunately, are all too common. Many parents assume their child would never drink while a minor, but it is in fact common practice. Children often face considerable pressure from their peers and many start drinking much, much earlier than parents realize.
In addition, children may get into a car with older friends or friends’ siblings, who may be under the influence. Some children who are injured in drunk driving accidents involving an inebriated and underage driver are not always the ones who are drinking. In some cases, they are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time but may still pay a price in serious injuries.
There are several things you can do to help prevent underage drinking and driving in your household:
- Talk to your children about drinking and driving. While it may not offset to the messages they hear in the news, on the media, and from their friends, it is still important to have the discussion. Use resources available through MADD and other organizations. Contact your child’s school and ensure that they have these messages and workshops available for students to help spread this message.
- Be a good role model. Never drive after drinking, even if it is a small amount of alcohol. Keep in mind that younger children may not understand the difference between drinking one drink and being safe to drive and imbibing several drinks and being over the legal alcohol limit. To be the ideal role model, avoid drinking one buzzed or even after having small amounts of alcohol.
- Get to know your child’s friends and their families. This will help you understand who they are and can help reassure you about the safety of your child.
- Keep alcohol out of reach of children. In your home, keep alcohol locked and carry the key with you.
- Have rules in place about who your child can get a drive home from. Make sure your child is only allowed to get in the car with people you know and trust.
- Offer your child several ways to get home safely if they do find themselves in a dangerous situation. Many parents make the offer to their children that a child can call for help no questions asked. However, in the moment, it can be daunting for a child to admit that they have been drinking or have been spending time with people who are drinking. Make sure your child has other options to get home, whether that means giving them money for taxis or encouraging them to call family friends or relatives who don’t have the ability to discipline them. Your goal is to get them home safe rather than discipline them.
If your child is injured by a drunk, underage driver, getting fair compensation to help pay for your child’s rehabilitation, medical bills, tutoring, and other costs can be difficult. To find out what your legal options are, arrange a free, no obligation case consultation with a Homestead car accident attorney by contacting Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN). Our attorneys have more than six decades of combined experience and have helped thousands of injured persons and hurt families recover fair compensation for their injuries.