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Explore General Legal Issues

Teen DUI? Tips To Help Parents Deal With The Aftermath

by Ralph Griffin

Enjoying a beer with a friend or having a drink while dining out is a normal part of life for millions of adults every day. While this small amount of alcohol probably does not affect the motor skills, coordination, or ability to reason for mature adults, it very well could affect a smaller, less mature teen driver. 

Unlike adults, teens may not be lessening the effects of their alcohol content by also taking in food.  Instead, teens that drink may doing so in a party setting, where over-consumption of alcohol with little or no food intake is likely to result in greater feelings of inebriation. 

But when parents get the dreaded call that informs them that they need to go to their local police department because their teen son or daughter has just been arrested on a DUI, they aren't thinking about size differences and the speed at which alcohol metabolizes. Instead, they are already wondering what this will mean for their child's future. 

If you are one of the many parents who get this call each year, here are some proactive tips for helping your child more effectively deal with the aftermath. 

Seek legal representation

Teens who find themselves in this kind of legal trouble may find that their college plans and careers as an adult are seriously jeopardized by this one incident. Most colleges and many employers do consider an applicant's criminal history as part of the admittance or hiring process. In many cases, finding a DUI or DWI during the initial application process is enough for instant disqualification, without your child being able to offer any sort of explanation or show that the event caused positive changes in their lives. 

By contacting a DUI attorney immediately, your child may be more likely to obtain a better legal outcome, including the possibility of: 

  • getting the court records sealed 
  • negotiating a reduced charge with the prosecutor 
  • overturning evidence and getting the charges dropped

Attorneys are much better positioned to deal positively with your teen's DUI charge because they already have an existing knowledge and relationship with local law enforcement and the court system in which the case will be heard. 

Limit interaction on social media

Innocent exchanges on social media can have long-lasting ramifications for your child, especially is the midst of this type of serious legal issue. Colleges and employers are increasingly apt to scour applicant social media accounts for negative information as part of their decision-making process. 

Photos and videos of your child's DUI arrest, as well as destructive comments by social media followers, could cause serious repercussions during the legal proceedings, as well as later, when they are applying to colleges or employers. 

To lessen this risk, parents will want to have a serious conversation with their child to help them understand the importance of avoiding any social media discussion about the initial incident or the ongoing legal case. 

Explore expungement

If the charges are not successfully dismissed or reduced to a misdemeanor, parents may want to discuss the possibility of having their teen's record expunged. While expungement may not be sufficient to completely remove all traces of the charge and sentence, it should limit visibility to higher levels of security checks, such as those used by the military or financial industries. 

In most instances, the potential for expungement may require that your child stay out of any further legal trouble for a set period of time before the court will consider it. 

To learn more about DUI and what you can do as a parent to help your child deal with the aftermath, make an appointment to speak candidly to a DUI attorney in your area.