Graduation can bring out the best and worst in freedom-bound high school students. Oftentimes, each productive achievement and accolade is met with a destructive antidote in the form of underage drinking. For this reason, GJEL Accident Attorneys encourages parents to take away the keys on graduation day to prevent potential drunk or impaired driving incidents.
“As parents, we need to keep eyes wide open during graduations and summer parties where teens gather to celebrate. The chance that alcohol may appear at these events is high, and no one should get behind the wheel after consuming alcoholic beverages regardless of their age,” said Andrew Gillin, managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys. “In our effort to keep families and other motorists safe, GJEL Accident Attorneys advises parents take the keys away, be a chauffeur, and use our Parent-Teen Safe Driving Contract as a discussion guide about teen driver safety.”
The statistics on teen drunk driving accidents are troubling, to say the least. In 2006, 1,700 high school students were arrested for driving under the influence, accounting for 9.5 percent of all DUI arrests that year, an increase from 7.5 percent in 1996 according to the California Highway Patrol. In 2008, more than 2,200 drivers under 21-years-old were injured in accidents caused by impaired driving. And each year during prom and graduation months in California, more than 700 students under 21 are killed in alcohol-related car accidents, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Graduation is a worthy and exciting opportunity to celebrate your child’s academic success. But to ensure safe celebration these next few weekends, take the keys away if your child is attending a party that might have alcohol. And to help prevent future drunk or impaired driving accidents, download the GJEL Parent-Teen Safe Driving Contract, which covers five areas that contribute to dangerous driving habits: driving under the influence, driving with other minors, speeding and rules of the road, and auto accidents. The contract is also available in Microsoft Word format to help families edit the content to fit their house rules.
Congratulations on your teenager’s graduation! Have a great celebration and remember to be safe.
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