It’s typical for a teen to think that they can be tough and trusted.  They will just tell their friends not to drink and do drugs at a party.  But sadly, these same teens can fall into peer pressure just one time and cost them their lives or someone else’s.

A parent needs to be strong and act responsibly for their teen’s actions.  They need to have an open line of communication with their teen about all things including, drinking, drugs and sex.

Proms, parties and graduation in Florida are coming up soon.  Teen’s often times look at these events as ones where they can sneak the booze and drugs to celebrate.  These events are especially dangerous, because a teen has a higher probability of being intoxicated while driving.

Parents need to set rules and stick to them.  Here are some rules to follow:

1.    Communicate with your teen.  Let your teen know that it is not acceptable for them to drink or use drugs while driving.  Also it is not    acceptable for them to be a passenger in a vehicle with a driver that has been using drugs or drinking.
2.    Write out the consequences for your teen if they are found to be in a vehicle where other’s are either drinking or using drugs.
3.    Give your teen a code or key work to use if they find they are in a compromising situation and need you to pick them up.
4.    Do the smell test on your teen.  Be up and waiting for your teen to return after their event.  Greet them with a hug.  Smell their breath and clothes, check their eyes for redness and their speech for slurring.  Even check whether they are chewing gum or mints.
5.    Stay in touch with other parents that your teen associates with.  Each parent should agree to not having unsupervised parties.  They should also agree to tell the parent of a teen that has been drinking or using drugs.
6.    Never have liquor or drugs easily accessible.  Count your bottles, cans and pills.

A parent who has an open relationship with their teen and continuously reinforces the rules will have a teen that will try and do the right thing.  Is it out of fear or respect?  You don’t care as long as they are safe and obeying the rules.  Remember, you aren’t their friend.  You are the parent!

The Law Office of David Benenfeld would like to express to all the teens and parents to have a safe life and make the right decisions during this time of parties and celebration.