Statistics from the US Department of Transportation tell us in no uncertain terms that alcohol, automobiles and teens are a lethal mix. So what is it that we can do to protect our youth? First we train them to drive to the best of their ability before we even let them obtain the legal privilege to drive alone. If their individual pace of performance is not acceptable then seek and secure professional training. Second, educate them on the dangers of poor driving habits. This is extremely difficult because they have few life experiences from which to draw and cannot evaluate consequences as an adult can. Third, be vigilant to situations where they may be temped, coerced or forced to drive or ride with someone after drinking. Finally, be there when they need you.
At some time your child or their friends will be faced with a drinking and driving situation. A poor decision or even a moment of indecision could cost a child their life. As a DADD you can circumvent a deadly outcome by placing yourself between the child and the risk. This is accomplished by making yourself available should your child or any of their peers find themselves in need of a safe ride home. In your school, church and social circles make it known that you are a DADD. Encourage adults in these circles to join DADD in order to create the safety net needed by our youth. Provide your contact information and let it be known that you are willing to do what is necessary to retrieve a child in need. Print the “Committment for Life” and sign it along with your child and make sure they understand there is an option.