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Talking to college students about impaired driving

With the end of summer fast approaching, college students are preparing for another year of classes, school activities and social engagements. As the parent of a college student, you may have concerns you'd like to voice to your child as they head back to campus for the fall semester.

College provides a lot of temptation and opportunity to young adults, particularly in the form of drug and alcohol use. Is there a way to talk about these concerns that can be effective and provide an open dialogue?

Every parent-to-child dynamic is different, but the importance of talking about potentially dangerous behavior is universal. In Georgia, underage impaired drivers can face different penalties than those over the legal drinking age. Talking to students now can help them avoid dangerous and impactful mistakes once back on campus.

Widespread behavior

Every parent wants to believe their child is a responsible person. Of course many are, but even otherwise responsible people can make quick mistakes that have lasting effects beyond their college years.

According to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 18 percent of drivers from 16 to 20 years self-reported driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol at some point.

Less than 20 percent may not seem like much on it's face, but that number amounts to about 2.5 million people every year. Not every instance results in charges against the driver, but the behavior itself occurs at an alarming rate.

Having a conversation about impaired driving with your college-aged child can help them avoid the stress and difficulty of facing impaired driving charges in Georgia. Take the time to discuss the risks of this behavior now so you can hopefully avoid having that conversation in a courtroom.

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