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Reducing teenage drinking and driving

The majority of Texas residents know that drunk driving is a fairly common problem across the state. Most parents of teenagers know how severe the penalties for this behavior are, and they want to do everything possible to help prevent drinking and driving. While it may not be possible to eliminate all teenage drunk driving, there are several actions parents may take to help protect their children.

The statistics on car crashes in Texas show that alcohol is a factor in many fatal accidents involving teenage drivers. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were over 24,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2018 involving drivers who were under the influence of alcohol. Of these crashes, over 1,500 of them involved DUI drivers under the age of 21. In terms of alcohol-related fatal crashes, 58 of the 870 DUI drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2018 were under 21 years old.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving states that one of the most effective ways parents may prevent their teens from driving drunk is to strongly discourage underage drinking in the first place. According to MADD, parents may significantly reduce teenage drinking by having open and honest conversations about alcohol with their children. In many cases, teens decide to drink alcohol based on misconceptions about it. Parents may help their teens by discussing those beliefs and providing truthful facts about alcohol consumption.

Parents may want to discuss the dangers of peer pressure, stating that drinking to fit in with friends is unwise. Individuals may help their teens come up with practical ways to respond to peer pressure, such as memorizing prepared statements. One of the most effective ways to combat peer-pressure-related alcohol consumption is encouraging teens to focus on their own values.