I find no joy when someone makes a mistake because of alcohol or drugs. It is extremely difficult when the pain is caused by a teenager. For those in recovery, it is a bad trip down memory lane. My first drunk happened when I was in the sixth grade. I am so thankful that my drinking and driving didn't kill anyone. For that I feel blessed.
I know what I want to say… but the words don’t come easy. It’s one of those been there, done that situations. I heard so many lectures and took all the tests but I still wasn’t ready to listen – about the evils of alcohol. In high school I watched the films about driving drunk and the aftermath. The videos were pretty gruesome but in my “know it all attitude,” I thought I was to smart for it to happen to me.
Knowing how I reacted to all that information, it makes it even more difficult to try and make a teenager, in today’s world understand the path that they could be on. You see, a friend of our daughter, was picked up for a DUI. What’s sad is this person is only 16. The good news? First, he (or she) was pulled over before they wrecked their car and possibility killing themselves, as well as their passengers. Second, he (or she) was pulled over before having an accident with another vehicle or before they hit a pedestrian.
As a teenager, you may not want to hear this, but it is a medical truth. The reason the drinking age is 21 is because your body is changing, it’s growing. It is statistically proven that the younger a person starts drinking, the more likely they will become an alcoholic.
Well, after a late night at the sheriff’s office and calls to your parents, you now have lost the privilege to drive. They took your car from you! But that isn’t as bad as it will get. You will be going to court for first offense driving under the influence. This won’t be transferred to juvenile court. You wanted to prove that you were old enough to drink – they will prove to you the consequences of your actions. You will lose your license for six months, which is probably how long you have had one. As a teenager, if you thought your insurance was expensive before – wait to you see what it will be like now. You will be paying a fine, anywhere from $500 to $1,000. You will be placed on probation, probably for a year and see a probation officer at least once a month. And I truly hope that the courts make you go to alcohol counseling and AA meetings for at least a year.
Your parents are angry and disgusted. Your friends are laughing at your stupidity. The next step is yours. It’s a step that won’t be seen tonight or tomorrow. But it will be seen in a year or two. Last night was a wake-up call. Were you listening? At the age of 16, you hit a bump in the road. And at the end of that road is a fork. Which way are you going? It is your first major decision in your life.
As an alcoholic, I hope you decide that drinking isn’t worth it. But I also realize that as a teenager you’re probably thinking that it’s no big deal. Well, you are wrong. When you got behind the wheel of a car – drunk – you made it personal. And that pisses me off! You took liberties with everyone’s life in our community.
But no matter what I say or do, eventually, the choice is yours. If you decide that you need help, I promise I’ll give you my support.