Surprising Factors that Can Increase Your Child’s Chances of Driving Drunk


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Driving after drinking is never a good idea at any age. But according to a recent study, some younger drivers indicated they are driving after having consuming alcohol. This could lead to devastating and dangerous consequences, including getting arrested for driving under the influence. Depending on the circumstances of the situation, this could even possibly lead to a lead to a DUI felony. Check out this interactive info graphic and learn more on the Surprising Factors that Can Increase Your Child’s Chances of Driving Drunk.

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Surprising Factors that Can Increase Your Child’s Chances of Driving Drunk

In a survey of 2,300 eleventh and twelfth graders conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), 13% said they’ve driven after drinking.

Why is it that young people drive drunk? What can influence an intoxicated young adult to get behind the wheel?

Parents’ Behavior

  • A 2011 study of 10,000 adolescents showed that:
    • 6% of those with parents who drink also drove under the influence at the age of 21.
    • Compare this to the 2% of young adults with parents who do not drink that have driven under the influence at age 21.
    • From these results it can be inferred that when parents drink, they can increase the chances of their children driving while under the influence when they’re adults.
    • Of teens with parents and peers who consume alcohol, 11% result in driving under the influence in their twenties. So how can friends be an influence?

Friends’ Behavior

  • People who have friends who are okay with drinking while intoxicated are more likely to drink and drive themselves.
  • Another major risk factor for driving under the influence is that many people think there are few negative consequences.
  • If the social support for drinking and driving and the belief that there aren’t very harsh consequences for doing so are cut down by half, then the drinking and driving rate can go down:
    • 56% for women
    • 33% for men
  • In Alberta, Canada, social influences had 5 to 6 times greater odds in persuading someone to drink and drive.
  • But friends might be able to use their influence for good.
  • In the same survey by Liberty Mutual and SADD mentioned above, 94% of teen drivers said they wouldn’t drive while under the influence of alcohol if a passenger asked them not to.

How Can You Help Prevent It?

  • Parents should start prevention efforts for drinking and driving before age 15.
  • This will help the consequences really sink into the mind of the young individual.
  • Here are some tips on how to keep your child from drunk driving:
    • Set a good example.
      • Don’t drink too much.
      • Don’t joke about drinking.
      • Don’t insinuate alcohol use helps solve problems.
  • Meet and know their friends.
    • Limit how much time they spend with friends who drink.
    • Help them build friendships with peers who don’t drink.
    • Create a code phrase.
    • This is something your teen can say over the phone.
    • Alerts you that they’re in a situation they’re not comfortable with.
    • Keeps them from getting embarrassed around friends.
    • Promise that you’ll pick them up, no questions asked.
  • Come up with comebacks.
  • Help your child know how to respond to peer pressure.
  • Examples include:
    • “My parents always find out, and I really don’t want to get grounded.”
    • “Don’t worry – my friend is coming to pick me up.”


    Because drunk driving is one of the biggest causes of death amongst teenagers, it’s important that you take these and other measures of prevention into consideration at an early age.

    Provided by Total DUI.

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