One of the riskiest nights of the year for teenagers coincides with one of the most memorable. High-school proms are a time-honored rite of passage that can turn tragic because of car crashes, binge drinking and other daring behaviors. But every year, thousands of students put on tuxes and slinky dresses, eat fancy dinners, and make an appearance at the prom. The trouble can start at after-prom parties, when kids drink or mix drinking with driving. Some schools even pay for security guards to police their events and monitor students for drugs and alcohol. But many kids only stay long enough to take pictures and attend parties afterwards instead.
Risks of Drinking and Driving
When your teenager drinks and drives, the consequence is serious for them as well as for the rest of the family. If you are all listed on one auto insurance policy the increase will be spread over all cars in the household rather than placed all on one car. Rates will likely rise sharply because the teen is already an inexperienced driver and now coupled the DUI offense. Some premiums may double or even triple come renewal time. In some rare cases, the insurance company can choose to cancel the policy altogether not wanting the added risk factor. Parents shopping for a replacement policy are unlikely to find affordable rates anywhere. Worse yet, some insurance companies may refuse to write a new auto policy for anyone who had a DWI in the last five years
Preventive Measures for Drinking and Driving
What can parents do to ensure their teens aren’t drinking and driving during prom? The most effective defense is to talk to your teen. Parents are the biggest influence on their child’s decision to drink and drive. They should explain the risks and the consequences associated with it well ahead of time. Another way to prevent drinking and driving at prom is to simply eliminate the possibility. Parents can join forces with other families and chip in to rent a limousine, offer to act as the designated driver or make sure their child is going to a dry event after prom.
Car Insurance Strategies After a DUI
Despite your best efforts, it’s possible your teen still might drink and drive. If your teen has had a DUI, you may want to explore the option of having your teen take out his or her own policy. However, you should be aware that a teenager with a DUI may have to pay thousands of dollars for coverage when carrying his or her own policy. Another option for parents (and this is my personal preference) is to take out a personal umbrella insurance policy. It’s expanded liability coverage beyond the typical limits on an auto insurance policy. This is preferable due to some DUI accidents can turn deadly if there are passengers or another vehicle involved. In these litigious times, more is ALWAYS better.