Now that your child has reached the legal drinking age, it is time to talk to them again about the dangers of mixing alcohol with driving. While your child should know to never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, the truth is that they could still be pulled over based upon suspicion. Make sure to cover these tips with your child so that they can handle a DWI stop with maturity.
1. Follow Proper Protocol
When a police officer flashes their lights, they begin to observe every action that the driver takes. Remind your child to pull over to a safe location as soon as possible, and they should continue to follow the laws of the road such as using their turn signal as they do so. Then, explain to your child how to avoid arousing suspicion. They should sit with their hands on the wheel and do not begin to search for items such as their insurance information until they are expected to do so since reaching into the glove compartment or under the seat could look like they are hiding something.
2. Avoid Admitting Fault
During a potential DWI stop, an officer may ask questions such as where your child is coming from or going. They may also ask if your child had anything to drink. Let your child know that they should be cautious what they say since telling the officer that they left a bar or had a couple of drinks with dinner could spark suspicion. While your child should never lie, they can tell the officer that they would like to abstain from providing information regarding their activities until they speak with a DWI attorney.
3. Watch Your Behavior
Your child should always assume that they are being observed. The police officer will be looking for signs of intoxication such as poor emotional control or difficulty performing simple movements such as walking. Since many police officers wear cameras or have them installed, your child's behavior may also be recorded. If they are arrested, remind them to stay calm and remember that recordings may continue in the police car and in the jail. While they may be upset, the best thing they can do once they are booked into jail is to sit quietly until they can contact you and their attorney for help.
No parent wants to worry about their child experiencing a DWI arrest, but they happen. Naturally, your first step is to make sure that your child knows to use a designated driver if they choose to drink, but talking to them about how to handle a stop adds an extra layer of protection if their driving does arouse an officer's suspicions.