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Underage drinking may be more common than parents think

Parents of teenagers in Tennessee have a lot to worry about. Amid concerns for their education, motivation and overall well-being is the fear that peer pressure or adolescent risk-taking will get them into trouble. Some of the greatest trouble a teen can find involves underage drinking.

While parents may believe their children always make wise decisions, statistic show that over 50 percent of teens drink before the age of 18. Some studies show that 11 percent of alcoholic drinks in the country are consumed by teenagers. A more frightening statistic may be that car accidents are the number one killer of teenagers, and 25 percent of fatal teen accidents involve an underage drinker.

Teen advocates advise parents to set boundaries and consequences. Making alcohol inaccessible may impress upon one's teen the seriousness of its use. It may be helpful to negotiate a contract with one's teen before allowing him or her to attend any holiday parties.

Nevertheless, parents should provide options for teens who find themselves in situations where they should not drive. Setting up an Uber account or making it clear that one is always available to pick them up may prevent a teen from making a fatal mistake behind the wheel. To avoid this scenario altogether, it may be better to host parties in one's own home.

While parents may hope that their advice has an impact on their children, young people make their own choices, and sometimes they are not good ones. When this happens, and a person in Tennessee is arrested for underage drinking, consulting an attorney for help is recommended. A DUI can jeopardize someone's chances for acceptance into college and job opportunities, not to mention placing him or her in great danger. Having a strong defense is one's best option.

Source: abcactionnews.com, "6 ways to protect teens from impaired driving", Dec. 9, 2016

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