For some parents, the only way they think they can address underage drinking is to completely outlaw it within the home. They tell their children that they’re never allowed to drink and set up strict ramifications if they’re ever caught consuming alcohol before they turn 21. 

Many of these parents, if asked, would say that they want to lower the odds of drunk driving. A teen who does not drink at all can’t get behind the wheel while intoxicated, after all.

The problem, though, is that this behavior may actually increase the odds of drunk driving. A teenager who does decide to drink at a party may know that they can’t call their parents for a ride. They’re more worried to admit to their parents that they had a drink than they are of getting a DUI. They will then try to drive home, even when it is not at all safe to do so, to avoid getting caught. They may even be worried about spending the night at their friend’s house because they know they’ll have to explain why they did it. 

This isn’t to say that parents should tell their kids to break the law by drinking underage. But it does show that they need to really think through the ramifications that their rules have and how these rules could push teens into even more illegal activity. That, in turn, can lead to a DUI arrest. 

If you’re the parents of a teen who has been arrested for drunk driving, you need to know exactly what options you have to address these legal charges and protect your teen’s future.