September 18th, 2019| Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the biggest causes of fatal accidents in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 10,500 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2016 alone, accounting for almost 30% of all traffic-related fatalities that year. Young people, including college students, are the most at risk for drunk driving-related accidents and deaths at all levels of intoxication. To combat the problem, all 50 states have made it illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to get behind the wheel after consuming any amount of alcohol. While stricter alcohol laws have helped curb intoxication-related accidents and deaths among young people, they haven’t eliminated the problem.
How You Can Get Involved as a ParentAs a parent, it can be difficult for you to monitor your child’s behavior, especially if they’re living across the state or even across the country while attending college. However, there are still a few important steps you can take to reduce your child’s risks of being involved in an alcohol-related accident:
- Talk about the consequences of intoxicated driving—Not everyone who drives while impaired will be involved in a crash, but they may get pulled over and arrested. Make sure your child understands the consequences of a DUI charge, including fines, mandatory jail time, loss of license, loss of scholarship, and more.
- Discuss alternate methods of transportation—There’s no excuse for anyone, including college students, to drive drunk in 2019. Talk to your child about how to get home safely after drinking, including rideshare apps, appointing a designated driver, using public transportation, or even calling you or another family member to pick them up.
- Set a good example—In addition to never drinking and driving yourself, it’s also important to be firm when it comes to alcohol. Never serve alcohol to your child or their friends if they’re underage or planning on driving.