Under the Influence

Each year approximately 400 children in Connecticut are passengers in cars that crash with a driver who is under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or a drug.  These crashes result in injuries and, in some cases, death.

It is important that parents and other care givers understand that it is NEVER ok to drive after drinking, smoking marijuana, or using illegal drugs.  Prescription medications may also impair your ability to drive and all people on medications should read the labeling and warnings on the medication bottle.

It is the responsibility of any adult given the responsibility to drive with children as passengers to ensure that they NEVER drive while under the influence.

For Kids

While it is not a tween or teens fault or responsibility that an adult is driving while impaired, if you find yourself in a situation where you think a driver is acting strange, or you can see tell-tale signs such as an open container of alcohol, remember you can take action to refuse to be driven by that person:

1:  Make up an excuse by letting them know that your plans just changed and you need to call your parents.

2:  If it is your parent, find another trusted adult and let them know what is happening.

3:  If you are already in the car and you need to get out, you can always pretend to be sick, pretend to throw-up.  Most drivers will pull-over so that you do not dirty their vehicle.  Then call your parents or another trusted adult.

4:  If you feel comfortable and safe enough to confront the adult driver, refuse the ride and let the adult know your concerns, ask them to explain their behavior.  Finally, ask them to get out of the vehicle and wait for someone who can drive you both safely.

For Adults

Whenever your social plans involve alcohol and/or drugs, make plans so that you don’t have to drive while impaired.

  • Before drinking, designate a non-drinking driver when with a group.
  • Don’t let your friends drive impaired.
  • If you have been drinking or using drugs, get a ride home or call a taxi.
  • If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate their sober driver; offer alcohol-free beverages, and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.