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Prepare for more DUIs during the holidays

The holidays are coming, and that means your college-enrolled child is coming, too. It is an exciting time to reunite as a family and celebrate the season. However, your time together can easily take a turn for the worse due to a DUI.

As your family makes plans for your college student's trip home, be sure to discuss the dangers of drunk driving, and prepare in case it happens.

Holiday drunk driving is a serious problem

While the deadliest holiday is Independence Day and the summer months have high rates of fatalities, there is also an increase in drunk driving accidents during the winter holidays. More motorists are on the road, the weather is poor and nighttime falls earlier. These factors already make a road trip dangerous without adding intoxication to the equation.

However, both seasonal celebrations and college life make it likely that your adult child consumes alcohol. With more police looking out for drunk drivers during these months, the risk of receiving DUI charges greatly increases. The consequences of a conviction are severe, especially if your son or daughter causes an accident or is underage.

Prevent and prepare

Prevention is the best preparation. Make sure your child has a plan in place if he or she drinks or is riding with a driver who does. Have your child download the free SaferRide app by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Also, prepare your young adult driver on what to do in case of a DUI stop. The law allows for refusal of a field sobriety test, but it may be better to comply with a chemical test. Refusing leads to automatic license suspension, necessitating a time-sensitive application process to obtain a temporary, limited driver's license. The test may result in evidence against your child, but there are ways to cast doubt on its validity.

Make sure your child does not say anything incriminating either. He or she can choose not to answer questions, but invoke the right to legal counsel first.

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