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Is your teen at risk of a prom-night DUI?

The final months of the school year are upon us, and for high schoolers, that means prom and graduation. Those two heady events are fraught with danger for teens whose exuberance often exceeds their restraint.

If you are the parent of a Kentucky teen who will be celebrating either or both rites-of-passage this spring, you may appreciate the following tips to help your child avoid some adolescent pitfalls.

  • Keep the communication lines open. While they might not act like it, teens do value parental guidance about some of the harder issues they encounter. Make sure that your message is crystal clear — driving drunk is never ok.
  • Provide alternatives to driving on prom and grad night. Even if your teen isn't drinking, he or she will be sharing the roads with many who will be. Arrange for a limo or party bus to drive several couples to and from the festivities.
  • Connect with other parents. While school dances and other functions are chaperoned, not all after-parties may have adults present and supervising. Make a few calls to your teenager's friends' parents to double-check that the parties will be alcohol-free and supervised.
  • Defuse peer pressure. Even the best kids can get derailed sometimes. Make sure that you point out that not every teen is making the poor choice to drink while underage and drive. Encourage teens to remain true to their convictions.

Because it's not a perfect world, it's inevitable that kids will sometimes cross the line. If your child winds up arrested for underage drinking and driving, he or she will need a great deal of your help.

While bad behavior does deserve consequences, the repercussions of a drunk driving conviction can slam doors on educational and occupational opportunities for life. Ensure that your teenager is able to launch a stalwart defense to the allegations of underage DUI.

Source: USA Today, "Temptation high for drunk driving in prom, grad season," Jessica Bliss, accessed April 27, 2018

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