Power of Parents (Pocket Guide)

RIDING WITH AN IMPAIRED DRIVER Our research shows, even kids that don’t plan or intend to ride with a driver who has been drinking may be “willing” in some circumstances, like if they feel responsible for helping a friend stay out of trouble or not get hurt. Some day your child may be faced with this, and it’s important to set a clear family rule. Discuss with your child the danger of riding with anyone who may have had too much to drink. Help them make a plan in case he or she experiences an unsafe situation. Talk about alternatives, such as calling a parent or trusted adult for a ride home. Remind your child that drinking coffee or other techniques for “sobering up” don’t actually work. He or she should not rely on these techniques to make a friend a safe and non-drinking driver. Kids who don’t consider all the consequences are more likely to ride with someone who has been drinking. Since kids pay most attention to short-term consequences, parents need to set clear no-alcohol use rules and enforce consequences. YOUNG PEOPLE DRINK DIFFERENTLY Kids may not consciously plan to drink, but they may take an opportunity to experiment. For example, they may be hanging out with friends at a home with an unlocked liquor cabinet, and decide to open up a bottle because there are no parents around. Sometimes, teens plan to binge (saying, for example, “Let’s go out and get hammered!”). Other times, they get caught up with drinking games or parties that get out of hand. Young people tend to engage in intense drinking, called “binge” drinking. For boys, binge drinking means having at least 5 drinks within a 2-hour period. For girls, it means at least 4 drinks within that time. Binge drinkers are more likely to be pushed, hit or attacked, confronted with unwanted sexual advances, sexually assaulted or seriously injured. Binge drinkers are also more likely to drive drunk, ride with a drunk driver, have their property damaged, have unprotected sex, and get exposed to sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV.


Talking About Alcohol // Riding with an Impaired Driver // Young People Drink Differently

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