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My teen got busted for underage DUI. Now what?

As we bid adieu to Summer 2017 and welcome in the autumn season, it's a good time for parents to consider how they will manage the many activities associated with their sons' and daughters' high school homecoming festivities.

While teens look forward to this exciting time for making memories with their friends, parents tend to focus on the inherent dangers of turning giddy teens in formal wear loose behind the wheel for a late night out with a date and likely a few friends.

One of the riskiest activities for teens on homecoming is underage drinking and driving. The urge to fit in with the group can cause even the most steadfast teens to succumb to peer pressure.

However, parents have a major role in preventing their teenagers from becoming sad statistics. Talking with your your teens lets them know that you are interested, aware and engaged in their lives. It can also provide them with the moral fiber to stand by the decision not to drink and drive or ride with somebody who is impaired.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claim that annually, 4,500 teenagers die prematurely due to underage drinking. This doesn't take into account all of the disabling and disfiguring injuries from drunk driving accidents that wind up not being fatal. Additionally, drivers aged 16 to 19 have four times the collision risk of their adult counterparts behind the wheel.

Even if your teen doesn't get into an accident after drinking, they face potential arrest and conviction on underage drinking and driving charges. That could cause rescinded scholarships and shut the door to several types of financial aid to pay for college. A conviction for underage drinking could also cause them to be expelled from some high schools and forbidden from playing sports, cheerleading and participating in other extracurricular clubs and activities.

If your teen gets arrested for a DUI this homecoming season, a Kentucky criminal defense attorney can build a strong defense to the charges that would otherwise derail promising lives.

Source: Williams County Health Department, "Homecoming Safety Tips for Parents," Margaret Peg Buda, accessed Sep. 22, 2017

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  • Kentucky Justice Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association 1871 Lex Ordo Justicia
  • United States District Court Western District Of Kentucky
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