AUSTIN, Texas. The nation watched, riveted, this week, as one woman told her story about how a high school party went terribly wrong. The story is familiar enough. Teens got drunk. An alleged sexual assault occurred. The story would be tragically common were it not involving allegations against a possible future supreme court justice. That teen drinking is a problem in this nation is well reported. The consequences of teen drinking are widespread. They include increased risk of sexual assault and increased risk of car accidents when teens drink and drive. What isn’t being discussed is the fact that teen drinking is illegal, and that it plays a major role in some of the greatest dangers facing teens today.
The consequences of teen drinking can haunt victims and their families for the rest of their lives. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the best way to prevent teen drunk driving is to prevent teen drinking. Parents can go a long way to prevent teen drinking by restricting alcohol access and by talking to their children about teen drinking and about the dangers of drunk driving.
Impaired drinking goes far beyond having a few drinks and getting behind the wheel. If teens smoke marijuana and drive, they could also be putting themselves and others at risk. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, teen drunk driving is so dangerous because young drivers are inexperienced. While drunk driving can put anyone at any age at risk, younger drivers may not have the same experience behind the wheel. Driving is not the only danger. Teens can also put themselves at risk by riding with another teen who might be an impaired driver. Parents can talk to their children about these risks and remind children that they can always ask for a ride home. Other parents might download ride sharing or ride hailing applications on their teen’s phones, so that if they need a ride, they have one.
Finally, parents can also offer nonjudgmental support, by telling teens that they can always call for a ride, even if they themselves have been drinking. Many teens choose to drink and drive because they may not want their parents knowing they have been drinking.
Teen drinking and driving is a serious issue that should be addressed. Parents who let their teens drive their cars should also be aware that they could be held financially responsible for any accident their teen causes. When an underage driver is responsible for a crash, it’s often the parents who end up footing the bill for the underage person’s negligence.
The Robson Law Firm is a personal injury lawyer in Austin, Texas who has seen firsthand how teen drinking can shatter lives. The hope is that in the wake of recent news, teens will think twice before drinking, and parents will take the time to turn this into a moment to have a serious conversation with their children about the real risks of substance use and substance abuse.
If you or a loved one was hurt due to the negligence of another person or party, you may have rights under the law. Visit the Robson Law Firm in Austin, Texas to learn more.
Robson Law Firm
1114 Lost Creek Boulevard Suite 440
Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 345-8200