As a parent, you do your best to explain the dangers of drunk driving to your teen. You let them know that it greatly increases the risk of an accident. You also tell them about all the trouble it can cause in their life.

But even if you take this approach, it’s not always good enough. Your teen could still drive under the influence of alcohol, thus putting themselves and everyone else on the road at risk.

If your teen is charged with DUI, it’s important that you step in to assist them. As frustrated and disappointed as you may be, it’s your time to step up as a parent and provide the help they need to get their life back on track.

There are many steps you should take:

  • Review the details of the arrest: Talk to your teen about what happened, why they were initially pulled over and how the officer treated them throughout. The more information you collect, the easier it is to paint a picture of what happened.
  • Learn more about the charges: It’s illegal to drive in the state of New Jersey if your blood alcohol content level is .08 or higher. However, you must also consider additional charges that can come about due to your teen’s age. Remember, you have to be 21 to legally consume alcohol in the state.
  • Consider the consequences of a conviction: This is why you’re stepping in to help. The consequences of a conviction can be far-reaching, including a large fine, community service, license suspension and forfeiture of financial aid (if they’re a college student).

Once you have that out of the way, you can focus on your teen’s upcoming court date. More specifically, the defense strategies that are available to them. This can be the difference between avoiding a conviction and your teen dealing with all the consequences detailed above, among others.

Although your child has made a big mistake, you can’t dwell on that right now. Instead, do whatever you can to help them, all while sharing knowledge and helping them understand that what they did was wrong.