The best defense to a driving prosecution is to prevent an arrest at all. As parents, understanding the mindset of those in our care can often go a long way toward preventing needless entanglements with the law.
In my capacity as a defense lawyer, I often must counsel parents with children facing juvenile or adult charges. On such occasions it is often imperative that all involved understand that those responsible for legal punishment are not often looking to extend the benefit of the doubt to one arrested or under questioning.
As a result, when I set about to prepare a juvenile or young adult for an experience in court or before a legal official, a large part of my job is to attempt to adjust their mindset as to the appreciable dangers of certain behaviors; especially in regard to teen driving activity.
If accurate, a recent report sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance provides alarming statistics as to the extent to which teen motorists may be disregarding potential dangers on our nation’s public streets.
In the study of over one thousand teens, nearly one in four admitted to dui, whether under the influence of prescribed medication, drugs or alcohol. In the, “it can’t happen to me,” society in which we live, a sizeable minority allegedly not only believe they are not a danger to others in such a condition, but reportedly state that the ingestion of Marijuana, alcohol or other drugs may actually improve their own driving activity.
As an experienced defense lawyer I tend to view such reports with suspicion. It is simply too convenient for groups such as the Mothers Against Drunk Driving as well as the interests of insurance companies to ratchet up the fear factor of parents as to the need for protective insurance coverage to fortify themselves against the irresponsible teen drivers lurking in their midst.
While it is certainly true that many teen drivers are in fact often naïve as to the hazards posed by drugs and alcohol, most others appreciate the notion of driver safety and ways to responsibly prevent accidents.
However, there is little doubt based upon personal experience that there does exist a significant minority of teens who are wholly unprepared to meet the challenge of legal questioning should confronted with a teen driving arrest.
A teen driver’s personal belief’s non withstanding, it is simply never advisable to put forth the notion or mindset to law enforcement officials that dui in any form can be an acceptable risk being responsibly undertaken. To present an aloof attitude to law enforcement if questioned is to invite further questioning before either a juvenile case probation officer or a prosecutor.
Most notably in juvenile court, a parent or legal guardian can be held legally responsible for failure to properly teach and hold responsible those in their care. Should a juvenile not appreciate the consequence of unlawful behavior it may actually become a parent who could find themself in the crosshairs of a prosecutorial investigation. More commonly in juvenile court, parental participation may be ordered so as to facilitate the learning process of teen driving safety in conjunction with more stringent legal consequences.
In sum, as a parent please be mindful that all youths at one time or another are likely to be faced with external pressures that may subject them to criminal investigation. Should such be the case, please be pro active before needing to meet such a challenge by not only working to prevent a teen’s lawful detention, but also informing our youth as to how to properly present oneself before a law enforcement official should the need arise in the future. In so doing, your teen will be best served as one who fully appreciates the potential dangers a dui can cause to others in society at large.