Generally speaking, the laws regarding underage drinking and driving are stricter than those that apply to adults 21 and older. Therefore, if your teenager gets a DUI, he or she could face penalties that have both an immediate and a long-term impact. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can help your son or daughter in the aftermath of an impaired driving charge.
Review Household Expectations
Ideally, you will have already discussed the consequences of getting a ticket or getting into an accident. Those consequences could include losing the right to drive or being kicked off of the family insurance policy. Your teen may also be required to pay the cost of any damage done or any fines incurred because of an accident or other negative incidents. Parents should stress that their children could face punishment imposed by a court such as a curfew or performing community service. After a DUI, a teen may need to apply for a SR-22 certificate.
Get Additional Help and Resources
When your child gets into big trouble, you don’t have to go it alone. Creating a solid legal defense can greatly assist your family through these complex judicial proceedings. For instance, the teen may have to go to therapy, take a driving course or listen to lectures given by those impacted by drunk drivers.
While this may seem inconvenient to your teenager, it is much better than going to jail or potentially jeopardizing an opportunity to go to college. In addition to an attorney, it may be a good idea to hire a therapist or other professionals who can help your child learn to make better decisions in the future or help with coexisting addiction issues.
Don’t Coddle Your Child During the Legal Process
It can be tempting for parents to want to make everything better for their children. However, it is important that your teens learn and accept the consequences of their actions. While you can be supportive during the legal process, don’t try to shift blame from your teen or otherwise make excuses. This could result in your son or daughter repeating his or her mistakes.
If your teen has been charged with a DUI, it doesn’t mean that he or she is guilty. However, it could result in serious consequences even if a plea deal is reached. As a parent, your goal is to help your child learn from the experience and become a better person.