The fall semester at college may already be underway, but it is not too late to have important discussions with your young adult children about college life. One big aspect of these years is partying, where alcohol consumption is often excessive.
Regardless of how you feel about your kid drinking, whether to the level of intoxication or not, you need to arm your son or daughter with the knowledge of how to avoid drunk driving charges and what to do if they occur.
Prevention is always the first defense. Ensure your children know the various factors that affect how fast their bodies metabolize alcohol, such as food intake, gender and health. They should not assume that just because someone else has a couple of drinks and seems fine that they will be too.
While students may know to arrange a designated driver to take them home after partying, they may not know that this is actually a risky choice. Designated drivers sometimes do not remain 100% sober. A safer alternative is using a ride-sharing service such as Uber. Spending the night at the party location is another option but can also come with its own dangers.
People make mistakes, so make sure you also inform your young adult children how to respond if the police pull them over. They need to be cooperative, but they do not need to answer questions about where they have been or how much they have drunk. They have the right to speak to an attorney first.
They do not have to take the field sobriety test. However, turning down a breath or blood test results in an immediate one-year license suspension, though they can appeal the decision. The results of the tests do not mean an automatic drunk driving conviction, though. Some defenses can cast doubt on the accuracy of the tests, as well as on the legality of the stop in the first place.