As a parent, one of the most frightening phone calls you could receive is from the police stating that your child is in trouble. When your child has a run-in with the law, you worry about their safety, future opportunities and how you can solve the problem.
For teens, drunk driving is one of the more common criminal acts. The responsibility of driving may be new to them. Beers and liquor might start to enter into social groups for the first time. While this can be a recipe for mistakes, teens are still accountable for following the law.
Step 1: Take a deep breath
Even if you thought your child knew better, or you had no idea they had access to alcohol, you will have to accept that they made a mistake. You could likely feel angry at the police, angry at your child or angry at yourself. Know these feelings come from love; you have a strong emotional response because you want your child to succeed in life and stay safe.
Step 2: Learn about the penalties
Juvenile DUI charges are not handled in the same way as adult DUIs. Colorado follows a “zero-tolerance” policy, which means that they can face consequences if their blood alcohol content is at least 0.02.
If an officer discovers that your teen consumed alcohol before driving, they may take away your child’s license. For the first DUI violation, your teen will lose their driving privileges for three months. This time period will increase if they repeat the offense. A judge may also order training or community service.
Step 3: Seek legal representation
Your child will need legal guidance to know their options. An attorney can help argue against DUI claims if the case involves uncertainty. In addition, your lawyer can help your teen navigate the legal process and defend their rights in court.
Step 4: Help your teen resolve their wrongdoing
Once a judge determines the appropriate punishments for your child, you can assist your teen with following the court orders. After their license is revoked for the designated time, you can help them fill out an application for reinstatement, for example. You can also talk to them about the role alcohol can play in life and how to practice responsibility in the future.