Reduce DUIs In Homebound College Students This Summer

By: Advocate Brokerage

Many teenagers experience the first beautiful breaths of freedom in college. Those who choose to live away from home are no longer under the constant rules and scrutiny of their parents. Often, this means experimenting with alcohol and other substances, such as cannabis… And many teens don’t see the problem with that “a few drinks” or a “legal” vape can pose.

Impaired Driving Has Serious Consequences

Those under 21 and caught drinking and driving may incur stiffer penalties than those who have already come of age. Based on blood alcohol content, charges may range from a civil offense to a serious criminal case. First-time drunk driving penalties may include license suspension, hefty fines, jail time, and a permanent criminal record. Further, your insurance may jump significantly as your teenager is now considered a high-risk driver.

Driving under the influence of cannabis isn’t any better. Any type of impaired driving puts your teen at risk or jail time, penalties, and higher insurance costs.

What You Can Do

Even if your teenager has reached legal adulthood, you can still be a positive parental influence. A few tips here include:

  • Have a conversation. Be open, honest, and calm, but discuss the dangers of drunk and impaired driving. Focus on the facts and statistics, and remind your child that just because something is enjoyed by adults, doesn’t mean that it is safe for all circumstances.
  • Establish clear boundaries. Lay out clear expectations regarding alcohol/drug consumption and driving. Let your young adult know that drinking and driving will not be tolerated and have clear consequences for breaking your trust.
  • Help them plan safe rides. In a world where Uber and other rideshare options are available around the clock, there’s no reason for any college-age student to be forced into a drinking and driving situation. Make sure they have local rideshare apps installed on their phone, and, if necessary, link your own credit card so they don’t have to worry about paying for a safe ride.
  • Be a good role model. If you drink, don’t drive. Practice what you preach and model responsible alcohol consumption. While you may be just fine having a single glass of wine at dinner, consider asking your child to be your designated driver. This will set a precedent for how you expect them to behave.
  • Provide a backup plan. Let your teen know that you are always there for them if they need you, even if they’ve made bad decisions. Tell them they can call you at any time, and you will safely extract them from any situation, no questions asked.

Want to learn more about how a DUI can affect your teen’s insurance? Ask your insurance Advocate for insight.

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