Every parent’s nightmare: The ‘phone rings, you answer it to be told that it’s the police and it’s about your kid. Once you have removed your heart from your throat you realize that it’s ‘just’ a DUI, you slowly being to realize that it’s a DUI! It’s a shocking experience, and while you are glad that it isn’t anything worse you also probably pretty mad at this point. There is also going to be a lot for you to handle, so here are some quick tips for you to get things moving.
Take a breath, keep calm
If it was your child that called you, don’t start shouting at them down the telephone. All you need to do right now is try and keep the both of you calm. If permissions are needed for medical care, now is the time to do it and also provide insurance details if required.
Call a lawyer
A DUI charge can have effects that last for years, and not just because of charges and related fees. A conviction can affect college admissions, available jobs and much more. There is an entire future at stake so it is always best to consult with a DUI attorney that knows what they are doing. Thankfully, this kind of legal help is easy to find so don’t panic about that part.
There will be legal charges, but it is best gaining the experience, advice and help from somebody that is well versed in these kinds of matters.
It’s going to cost
As well as the bail, the DUI charge is not going to be cheap to face up to. There are going to be fees associated with the vehicle too: Towing, insurance, legal fees and probably impound fees too.
Discuss the issues with the child
Being charged with a DUI as a teenager is going to have to bring some serious conversations. When you have had a moment to sit, think and relax your mind a little, have a talk about what has happened. Underage drinking is already a very serious issue that needs to be addressed, but to then get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive?
There is every chance that the apple of your eye is going to claim that this is the first time that it ever happened. You can probably take that with a pinch of salt. If you think that there may be an underlying problem with drink or anything else, then now is a good time to urge them to get help and treatment.
This may not even come up as a requirement of the charges, but it is still a good idea nonetheless. You should also consider driving school and/or Accelerated Rehabilitation too. The importance of hammering home the potential consequences of driving while under the influence can not be understated.
Aside from the fines, affected future and a criminal record your teen could end up with serious and life changing injuries. Or even worse. Setting limits for your child as a further punishment, designed to keep him/her from negative influences may also help them to understand that what has happened can never be allowed to occur again.