This isn't exactly rocket science. A new study confirms what any Los Angeles DUI lawyer knows - when it comes to underage DUI, parental influence plays a major role. The study finds that teenagers whose parents drink and drive are more likely to indulge in such practices themselves.
The study has been conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. According to the research, parental drunk driving has a strong influence on teenagers' driving practices. The researchers focused on approximately 67,500 people aged 12 and above. They found that more than 18% of teenagers living with a mother, who frequently drove while drunk, drove while intoxicated. In comparison, only 11% of teenagers living with a mother who did not drive drunk, engaged in intoxicated driving.
When it comes to fathers, parental influence seems to be even greater. Approximately 21.4% of teenagers with fathers who drove under the influence ended up driving intoxicated themselves. In comparison, just 8.4% of teenagers who lived with fathers who did not drink and drive, drove under the influence of alcohol.
It shouldn't take research by a federal agency to confirm that parents have a big role to play in setting appropriate driving examples for children. Peer pressures may be huge for a teen driver, but you can't discount the sobering – no pun intended - influence of parental example. Impressionable teenagers are much more likely to believe that inappropriate practices like driving under the influence of alcohol are perfectly acceptable and safe, if their parents engage in such behaviors.
In some ways, the consequences of a DUI conviction for a teenager may be even greater than that for an adult. Teenagers have barely begun living their lives, and a DUI conviction can leave a permanent mark on the record that could impact a teenager's education or employment opportunities in the future.