Your Teen and DUI: Consequences For the Entire Family
Any situation involving a DUI can have serious repercussions for accused individual. However, this is oftentimes even worse for teenager, as it can also negatively affect not only their future, but their family as well. Though everyone involved would likely wish to put this one “stupid decision” firmly behind them, drunk driving incidents can have an emotional ripple effect on the entire family.
Coping with the aftermath of your teen’s drunk driving incident is difficult enough without taking into consideration the further impact it may have on your family. Your relationship with your spouse can suffer, as can social relationships for both you and your other children. Additionally, there are financial setbacks and future plans that could possibly be severely compromised.
1) Your other children are teased at school.
Whether you live in a large city or a small town, every community has a grapevine. Even if your teen’s DUI wasn’t published in the paper, chances are, word will get around. This could result in your other children being teased by their friends, or their parents even forbidding them to come to your home. Talk to your children about how to handle teasing, and speak to other parents to let them know while you love your teenager, you do not condone their choices and would never let their child come to harm in your home.
2) The legal costs are crippling to your family’s finances.
According to Hofland & Tomsheck, Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys, criminal conviction often carries with it a range of potential consequences that can negatively impact your life forever. This includes exspensive fines can range from $500 to over $2000. From hiring a DUI attorney to court costs and fines, coping with the price can bring a huge amount of debt to a family. This may mean that birthdays and holidays suffer, as well as any planned vacations going out the window. Sit down with your family and be honest about the situation so everyone knows what to expect. While it is disappointing, sticking together during this time is key.
3) Your friends and family think you’re a bad parent.
Parents of teens caught drunk driving can often experience the cold shoulder from other parents, members of their community and even their own family. Coping with feeling “cut off” from your support system can be very depressing for everyone involved. Try to be forthcoming with your friends and family about what has happened, and that your family is trying to cope with a very serious setback. More than likely, there will be people in your circle who have dealt with similar situations who can help.
4) You and your spouse can’t stop arguing.
Stress is an enormous cause of arguments in any relationship, but the stress of a child in trouble can be doubly so. If your teenager is in trouble, it will be natural for you to be angry, and that can sometimes move into picking fights with your spouse or loved one. Try to understand the cause of your anger, and if need be, speak to a professional to counsel you and your family with your issues.
5) Your insurance is through the roof.
Insurance in the United States is expensive enough for most families without having to add a DUI charge to the mix. If your teenager is convicted with an offense or there is damage to your car or injuries, you are likely to see a big jump in your insurance costs. Shop around for your insurance provider and be forthcoming about the cause. Additionally, your teenager should also be asked to contribute towards the insurance with a part-time job.
Communication is important when dealing with the aftermath of a drunk driving charge. However, good communication is key. Take a policy of complete honesty to deal with friends and family, making sure to underline that while you do not agree with what your child did, you are trying to work through it as a family. Sticking together is the most important thing you can do.
Journalist Nicole Bailey-Covin has covered many unfortunate cases where young people have made and sometimes fatal choices in deciding to drink and drive. She encourage parents to talk to their teens and when needed don’t be afraid to monitor their children’s communications and whereabouts. It is better to be protective and safe, than to look back with regrets.
Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/2gG9e1
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