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Signs you should avoid handing car keys to your teen this summer

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2024 | Drunk Driving

The teenage years are a season of new-found freedom and independence. However, if you’re the parent of a teen, you should pay keen attention to help ensure your child doesn’t stray too far and get on the wrong side of the law.

As summer break continues, one activity that teenagers look forward to is getting behind the wheel. They want to go on road trips with friends and attend hangouts at different locations. If your teen already has a driver’s license, you should make sure they understand Maryland’s zero-tolerance laws before handing over the car keys to them.

As a responsible parent, you’re better off disappointing your teen than letting them get behind the wheel if they will likely engage in unruly behavior. Recognizing when your teenager might not be ready for the responsibility of driving is crucial. It can save you and them a lot of legal trouble.

Peer pressure and social circles

Most teenagers probably assume that DUI laws uniformly apply to all drivers on the road. However, policies that apply to teenage drivers under the age of 21 are stricter. Instead of the usual 0.08% BAC limit for adult drivers, the Old Line State can arrest teenagers for DUI with a BAC as low as 0.02%.

Therefore, if you suspect that your teenager’s friends engage in drinking or drug use, you might want to hold on to the car keys this summer. Most teenagers easily succumb to peer pressure and engage in risky behavior even when they’ve been raised to know better.

Lack of driving experience

Teenage drivers are inherently more susceptible to accidents due to their inexperience behind the wheel. Suppose your teenager has not had sufficient driving practice; it might not be time to let them drive without adult supervision just yet.

Even if they’ve recently received their driver’s license, they might not be ready to handle the potential dangers of driving unsupervised. You can use this summer break to help them practice in different road conditions to help them prepare for the real challenge.

As summer break continues, it’s vital to assess whether your teenager is ready to handle the responsibility of driving. With that said, if you thought your teenager was ready to go behind the wheel unsupervised, only to get news that they’ve been arrested for a DUI, know that there is hope. Appropriate legal guidance can make your teen’s situation clearer.