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Helping your teen with a drunk driving charge

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | DUI/OUI |

As parents, we do our best to teach our children right from wrong. We discuss the importance of never driving drunk or riding with someone who has been drinking.  We ensure that they know they can always call us for a ride.

However, we can’t be with them 100% of the time, and they will make their own decisions. Unfortunately, they sometimes make the wrong choice. That’s a part of growing up. So, what can we do when we receive a call that our child has been picked up for drunk driving?

The legal consequences

Massachusetts has strict laws regarding underage drinking and driving. For drivers under 21, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.02%. If your teen is found driving with a BAC above this limit, they can be charged with operating under the influence (OUI).

The penalties for a first-time OUI offense for underage drivers in Massachusetts can include:

  • License suspension
  • Fines
  • Mandatory participation in a Youth Alcohol Program (YAP).
  • Community service

Your teen could face any or all of these penalties.

Some tips if your teenager is charged with OUI

Stay calm and provide emotional support to your teen. It’s a serious situation, but approaching it with understanding and empathy will help your teen feel secure and open to learning from the experience.

Educate yourself and your teen about the legal process. Understanding what to expect can alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty associated with the charges.

Have an honest conversation with your teen about the potential consequences of a drunk driving charge. Emphasize the importance of taking responsibility for their actions and understanding the severe implications of drinking and driving.

Helping your teen navigate this difficult time will allow them to emerge as a more responsible person who is aware of the serious consequences of drinking and driving. Working with someone familiar with the legal system can provide the best possible outcome for your teen.

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