Drinking, Driving and the Teenage Minor

redlightsWashington State DUI stops, arrests and convictions do not only happen to adults. Unfortunately, teenagers, and other Washington State minors, can just as easily be stopped, arrested and even convicted for DUI in Washington State. Teenagers and other minors generally get into Washington State DUI related incidents during weekend nights. It has been determined that teenage and minor DUI’s not only are responsible for causing a significant number of deaths throughout Washington State each year, but are also responsible for billions of dollars in financial damages to our state’s economy each year; this may be due in part to: (1) alcohol and/or drugs, and (2) the fact that a lot of teenage minors are not properly trained as drivers, thus increasing the likelihood they will be involved in an accident. Shockingly, almost thirty percent of all teenage minor automobile deaths involved some allegation of driving under the influence.

A Washington State teenage minor DUI can result in substantial and severe damage to a youngster’s future life, both personally and professionally. A teenage minor convicted of DUI in Washington State is likely to face jail time, license suspension, fines, and court ordered alcohol treatment. A DUI conviction cannot be (and will not be) expunged or vacated from the teenage minor’s criminal history; in short, it is a lifelong stigma. Because of the severe and potentially lifelong negative implications of a DUI conviction, a parent of a teenage minor should take a proactive stance and seek to implement some preventative measures to curb teenage minor DUI. To this end, below following are a few basic suggestions from SQ Attorneys:

(1) At an early age educate the teenage minor about the significant consequences of drinking/ drugging and driving;

(2) Maintain an open dialogue between parent and child, and always be willing to openly talk about alcohol and drugs and the effect those substances have on one’s body;

(3) Continuously ensure that access to drugs and alcohol is limited to the greatest extent possible;

(4) Eliminate access to vehicles if it is suspected that drinking/ drugging is going on;

(5) Preach abstinence until the age of twenty-one; but be realistic, and discuss options such as appointing a designated driver, calling a taxi or calling a family member for a ride home.

We all love our children greatly, and we all ourselves have been a child.  As such, we know what it is like growing up and being “young and impressionable”.  As parents the best that we can do is to guide our children, as they say … “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink it”. In other words, sometimes our best “proactive” and/or “preventative” efforts are simply not enough.  Although true, it is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about – it’s just a fact. Regardless, we must be vigilant in protecting our childrens’ rights and interests; we cannot let a mistake destroy their future.

man holding criminal bookTo that end, if your teenage or minor child is cited for DUI in Washington State it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a qualified and reputable Seattle DUI attorney. The consequences of a DUI conviction are life-long, and can unnecessarily cause a negative impact on a child’s aspirations and goals in life. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with DUI in Western Washington and the greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the DUI allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances. Call SQ Attorneys if you or a loved one is cited for DUI in Washington State – it will be the best decision you make all day.

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