Parents’ Drinking Increase Teenagers’ Risk of DUI

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A new study finds that teenage children of parents who drink even moderately, are more likely to be involved in a DUI, compared to those children whose parents don't drink at all.

According to the results of the study, which have been published in Accident Analysis and Prevention, about 6% of adult children of parents who drank only occasionally, ended up driving under the influence in their 20s. In comparison, only 2% of teenage children of parents who did not drink at all were likely to be involved in a DUI. This study shows Los Angeles college DUI lawyers the importance of parental influence in preventing irresponsible drinking practices by their children.

However, even when parents did not drink at all, children could still be at risk of picking up irresponsible drinking practices from their friends. The researchers found that having friends who drank alcohol was definitely a DUI risk factor for teenagers whose parents did not drink alcohol. However, when teenagers were exposed to parents and friends who both drank alcohol, there was a substantial increase in the risk of being pulled over for DUI later in life. About 11 percent of children whose parents and friends both drank, ended up driving under the influence in adulthood.

The research indicates that parents need to be vigilant about their own drinking practices at home, in order to ensure that their children are not picking these up. Parental practices may not only affect a teenager risk of being involved in a DUI, but also his drinking and driving practices as an adult. The researchers urge parents to display responsible drinking practices.

An underage DUI in California can end with serious repercussions for a teenage driver. A teenage motorist in California cannot legally drive with any amount of alcohol in his system, and can be charged with DUI even if his blood alcohol content is much less than the .08% level that has been set for drivers above the legal drinking age of 21.