Family Law

What To Do When Your Teen Gets a DUI

Learning to drive is one of the defining moments in the journey from adolescence to adulthood. While driving can be a rewarding experience for many young adults, it can be difficult for some younger people to understand the risks associated with driving. In some cases, poor judgement can result in a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge. While it’s a good idea to contact an attorney if a teenager gets charged with an alcohol-related moving offence, there are several steps a parent can take to reduce the consequences of a DWI.

Teaching Proper Responsibility

  • The best way to avoid problems is by teaching a teenager about responsibility. Since many teenagers don’t think about the consequences of their actions, they will often take risks that could result in harm to themselves and other people. This isn’t just limited to DWIs; it can also include speeding, reckless driving and more.
  • It’s a good idea to have an accountability system for teenagers with their own vehicle. Instead of letting teenagers have full control of their vehicle, it’s important to set curfews. For example, teenagers drink alcohol in the evening or late at night. Because of this, these hours can be the most likely time a teenager will find himself or herself behind the wheel while intoxicated.
  • Teenagers should not be allowed to drive after 9 PM unless they are going to a school event, religious event or other approved activity. If teenagers are going to a party, it’s important to make sure they won’t be drinking and driving. If they will be drinking at a party, it’s important to make sure they spend the night at the host’s home.
  • It’s also important to make sure that teenagers have an open line of communication with their parents. Many teenagers will feel ashamed about underage drinking. Instead of calling their parents for a ride, some teenagers will risk driving under the influence.
  • Let teenagers know that while underage drinking isn’t good, DWI is much worse. Tell them that they can always get a ride from their parents if they have been drinking, regardless of the time. It’s also important to not shame or punish teenagers if they ask for a ride; instead, try to figure out a way to avoid these types of situations in the future.

Teaching Teenagers About Consequences

  • Our New Jersey DWI lawyer reminds us that very year, almost 30,000 people are killed in automotive-related accidents in the United States. Many of these accidents involve the use of alcohol.
  • It’s a good idea for teenagers to see the brutal consequences of a DUI-related crash. There are many websites that host disturbing photos and videos of vehicle accidents. Try finding an extremely brutal video or photo of a DUI-related crash. While accident videos with severe physical trauma or death can be disturbing, they can help children understand the harsh reality of driving. Operating a multi-ton vehicle at highway speeds can be extremely dangerous.

After the Fact

If a teenager does have a DWI, it’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. He or she can help teenagers and their parents negotiate down a DWI charge. There are some consequences that may be avoided by having the right defense at the right time.

Anthony Joseph studies legal subjects in his spare time, and is a contributing author for the law office of Evan M. Levow, a New Jersey DWI lawyer. Mr. Levow is a lawyer who exclusively practices DWI defense throughout every court in the state of new jersey. He has qualifications that no other attorney in this State shares, and he knows what it takes to properly defend you.