By Garth O'Brien | December 14, 2008
Filed Under DUI
Underage drinking is here to stay. If you do not believe me then go visit any college campus on the weekend or any weeknight or for that matter during class. Someone under the age of 21 will be near consuming alcohol and quite a few will even experiment with drugs. Universities try to combat underage drinking by enforcing a “dry campus.”
In theory this is a nifty idea because students pledge to abstain from drinking on campus, and if they are caught violating that pledge they can be booted from on-campus housing. Parents praise the policy, but fail to realize that this drives students to off-campus parties. Now ask yourself would you rather have your child drink in their dorm room, or would you rather they drive their car to a party one mile off campus? Keep in mind they most likely they will be driving their car back home after drinking.
Washington State deems a minor to be under the influence of intoxicants at a 0.02 blood alcohol level. One Coors Light beer will put your child at that level. Want to know how much a DUI costs, and it does not matter that it is a Minor DUI? Here is a rundown of some big ticket costs:
- $2,500 to $8,000.00 DUI defense attorney retainer fee
- $1,000.00 maximum fine for a misdemeanor crime
- $500.00 approximately for alcohol classes, victim panel and assessments
- $500.00 or more in probation monitoring costs
- ???? increase in your private auto insurance
- ???? in lost wages attending court with your child
Envisioning your bank account disappearing? Well those costs do not include the intangible ones. Does your child want to be a firefighter, police officer, trucker, or any occupation involving they operate a motor vehicle? Good luck. Employers will ask about their criminal driving record, and they cannot and will not insure an employee with a DUI on their criminal history.
Parents you MUST talk to your children about the dangers of drinking and driving while they are underage. Beg them to walk, take a cab or call a SOBER friend or relative. Also, Designated Driver means that person DOES NOT DRINK. It does not mean that person is the least drunk of the group. That is not sarcasm. I had many clients that were the selected DD because they only had 12 beers where the rest of the group had more than 12 beers.
Teach your children to be smart about drinking alcohol under the age of 21. Demand they do not drive after consuming any amount of alcohol. If their college starts pushing a “dry campus” do not be afraid to step up and ask questions or maybe oppose their fancy policy. I do not condone underage drinking, but it happens so lets ensure it happens in the safest manner possible.