Anger, disappointment, fear, and even shame are common emotions felt by parents whose underage children have been arrested for drunk driving. As you work through these emotions and help your child make decisions about the future, it is important to ask yourself the following questions about what you and your child do next:
How will our decisions impact my child’s future? If you do nothing then your child may be convicted of drunk driving. That conviction can have significant consequences both in the short term when your child faces fines or jail time and in the long term when a criminal conviction may limit college admissions or job opportunities.
How can we prevent this from happening again? Some children will be significantly frightened by a Virginia DUI arrest and make better choices in the future. However, as a parent, you need to be sure that your child will make responsible choices and provide the education, communication, and support necessary to help your child.
How can I keep my child safe? While the arrest and possible penalties are troubling, your child’s safety is likely your first priority. It is, thus, important to focus both on the dangers of underage drinking and on driving safely.