Preventing drunk driving should be an important focus of all parents. Last year, over 17,000 students were involved in alcohol related traffic crashes and hundreds were killed, including drivers and passengers.

Nobody wants to see their child go to jail, or be injured or lose their driver’s license. But what can you do to address this devastating situation? Education and training to protect your children and yourself are the solutions.

Children have enough pressure just learning to function in society, they don’t need to add drinking alcohol to the equation.

Peer pressure is the main factor in student drinking.

Concerned school resources are preventing underage students from drunk driving by checking students at the door with breathalyzers. If it is determined a student has been drinking, they will either call the parents for a ride home or they will be escorted by school personnel. But this is only one step toward controlling underage students from drinking and driving.

There are many alcohol abuse prevention programs available to the public. SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) are just two of the many safety organizations which offer tips, statistics and education on underage alcohol related problems.

Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) has a teen alcohol abuse prevention and co-existence program called Al-Anon Teens. This concerned group offers counseling and meetings for students who have parents who abuse alcohol. Al-Anon Teens helps young people learn to live with adults who abuse alcohol without becoming addicted themselves.

Underage student drunk driving is everybody’s problem. Educating children and young adults about this serious life and health problem is the primary step to preserving our national future.

Talk to your child about drinking laws and help them understand the severe, life-changing consequences they could face if they drive impaired or ride with someone else who is drinking and driving.