Can Teen Drunk Driving Be Prevented?
As parents, we try to give our children the tools and education to become successful, thriving adults. However, at one point or another, a teenager will begin developing their own personalities as well as fulfilling their own wants, needs and desires. When it comes to substance use, a teen’s high school and college years are seemingly one big experimental phase. Not only is the body going through significant physical changes, but your child is growing socially as well. Peer pressure can certainly impact your
teen’s everyday decisions, but do not think that your input does not matter. However, when it comes to the safety of your child, and the youth of today’s relaxed mentality on drunk-driving, you do want to offer as much education, support and open-communication that you possibly can.
To better understand your child’s current mentality, reflect back on your own teen years and you will probably come to the conclusion that you made some pretty irrational and risky decisions. Did you experiment with drugs? Did you on occasion heavily drink alcohol or binge drink? What did you learn from the choices you made regarding substance experimentation? Have you ever gotten behind the wheel while under the influence? Did your experimentation turn into a lifelong problem with substance use or was it just a phase you grew out of? These are all good things to contemplate before engaging in a conversation with your teenagers about alcohol and drug use; they may ask you about your own experiences and you should be prepared to have an answer for them.
Fatalities that occur from drunk driving accidents are certainly a heartbreaking disaster for everyone involved. You may be wondering how to protect your teen from this sort of tragedy, and there is no definite answer except to project the value of good choices, judgment and responsibility. Some parents prefer to use threatening tones or punishment to deter their teen from drunk driving. Unfortunately, these scare tactics are not very effective for discouraging teens from driving while under the influence or stopping them from consuming alcohol in the first place. According to David Hanson Professor at Potsdam University who discusses on his website, Alcohol Problems and Solutions, there are several other methods that have minimal effect on a person’s decision to drive drunk or not such as; “incarceration and jail time, heavy fines or even an increase in the cost of alcoholic beverages.”
While as a parent you do not want to advocate for drinking and driving, you should prepare yourself for the fact that your teen may still decide to drink and drive anyway, regardless of the life lessons you have taught them. In this case, it is important to educate and prepare them to be ready to handle any situation. Engage in frequent conversations regarding alcohol or substance use so that your teen feels comfortable coming to you with a problem or concern. Help them recognize signs of a highly intoxicated person, and teach them problem solving to avoid confrontation that may occur if they try to stop a friend from drunk driving. On the flip-side your teen may also feel immense pressure to drink even if they hang out with a “good crowd.” Maybe your teen is torn between not really wanting to drink and the desire to fit in with their friends? Or they are curious as to what it feels like to be drunk? Either way, using an open and non-aggressive tone is the easiest way to get your teen to better communicate.
Another reason communication is key, is that it reassures your teen that while they will still have to face some consequences for their actions, you will be there for them if they need you. If your teen is ever in a situation where they may need a ride home, you should always let them know you will come and pick them up regardless of the circumstances. A teen filled with fear that they will be harshly punished for drinking or even hanging out with friends that have alcohol will be less inclined to call a parent and will most likely take the risk of driving or get in a car with someone who is intoxicated, convincing themselves that nothing will happen.
Another helpful tip is to explain to your teenager that all alcohol affects you the same way, regardless of its strength. Some adults have the misconception that having a single beer will not impair their judgment or reaction time while operating a vehicle; however, in reality “the contents of the typical bottle or can of beer, glass of wine, or liquor drink (mixed drink or straight liquor) each contain virtually identical amounts of pure alcohol. When it comes to alcohol, a drink is a drink and is all the same to a breathalyzer” (Hanson; Drinking and Driving).
Teens should also know their limits to drinking, especially if they are newly experimenting with alcohol. This could not only save your teen from an alcohol overdose or alcohol poisoning but may provide them with some reality when it comes to drinking and driving; however, this is something you as a parent would need to be comfortable experimenting with. Although the legal limit to drink in European countries is often 16 to 18 years of age, alcohol is introduced at a much younger age and in turn there are statistically fewer fatalities involving alcohol. In the United States, the legal drinking age is 21 but the laws regarding underage drinking vary by states. Some parents however introduce alcohol, typically wine, in their home to pre-teens and teens at their own discretion.
There are some parents who are open to helping their teen understand how alcohol affects their body, and use different parenting techniques to achieve this. A controversial technique used by some parents is to allow their teenager to consume a few alcoholic beverages in the safety of their own home. In one instance, throughout a one to two hour window a parent handed their teen a pen and paper and asked them to write clearly, “drinking doesn’t affect my driving” as they consumed alcohol. As the teen continued to drink their writing became sloppier and sloppier. After the teen was finished drinking, the parent instantly made the teen consume plenty of food and water. The next day the parent presented their teen with their handwriting before, during and after drinking. The parents used this visual example to explain to their teen that if they could barely operate a pen, they were not fit to operate a vehicle. This eye-opening experiment can visually show teens how drinking impacts their basic motor skills, even after only small amount of alcohol.
Whatever parenting tips you use, preventative education is always the best way to at least arm your teen with the tools to properly assess situations, while giving them the confidence to know that they can make the right choice in any situation with your support. While alcohol may be taboo in your household, almost 70% of college freshmen experiment with alcohol within their first year. It may be better to educate your teen now and provide them with the power of choice and good judgment for a successful future. After all sooner or later they are on their own.
Source: Alcohol: Problems and Solutions
Writers & readers of true crime are invited to The True Crime Workshop on February 8-9, 2014 in Fondren Hall at the Scarritt- Bennett Center in Nashville, Tennessee, a place rich in history and full of legends and stories. The Scarritt- Bennett Center was chosen specifically for its history, mission statement, and architecture. The gothic stone and stained glass windows, original furnishings, lush gardens, and wooden beams look like a “Harry Potter” movie.
The workshop has multiple purposes, One is to write better true crime. Successful true crime authors, to include Cathy Scott and Michael Tabman, will share their success stories while explaining the “do’s and don’ts” of true crime writing. Several law enforcement professionals and nonprofit organizations will present. For example, classes will be presented on reading blood spatter and glass patterns, and a class on locating pertinent legal documentation is offered.
There will be a special event called “Lunch with the Author” where future authors and fans can share a table with a published author, publishing representatives, and law enforcement personnel to discuss ideas, ask questions, and exchange information.
Hope you will pass the word on and you can attend. See The Tennessee True Crime Workshop
6 Most Horrific Home Invasion Murders
It’s every person’s worst nightmare. Home is supposed to be a place to feel safe, especially once the doors are locked, the lights are off and our heads are resting on our pillows. Unfortunately, recent history is filled with cases where people have just not been so lucky.
Here is a list of 6 of the most notorious, frightening and gruesome home invasion murders:
Cheshire, Connecticut Home Invasion Murders
One July 23rd, 2007, the small town of Cheshire (once voted as one of the 100 best places to live) was rocked by the grizzly home invasion murders of an everyday, ordinary family.
Two men, Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, followed home their soon-to-be victims, Jennifer Hawke-Petite and her 11 year old daughter Michaela, fully intending to rob the family and nothing more; however, when they saw William Petit asleep on the porch, their plans turned deadly, as they beat him with a bat.
They then proceeded to rob, rape and murder the mother and her two daughters by setting the house on fire. The two men were caught and sentenced to death.
Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman
Before 1994, O.J. Simpson was praised as a fine football player and actor. He seemed like another American idol, until the night his ex-wife and her friend were found stabbed to death outside her home.
The car chase and subsequent trial were the biggest news story of the decade. The trial became a spectacle, less about the facts and more about the circus. Ultimately, O.J was found not-guilty in the criminal court, despite many of the jurors proclaiming his guilt in interviews after the trial.
Afterwards, Simpson and Goldman’s families brought a civil suit for wrongful death against O.J., for which he was found guilty and ordered to pay over $33-million. In 2008, O.J. was convicted of robbery and sentenced to 33 years in jail.
Clutter Family Murders
In 1959, Herbert Clutter, his wife and two of his children were brutally murdered in their home by two ex-convicts. The convicts, Dick Hickock and Perry Edward Smith, were looking to score big when they got a tip from one of Clutter’s employees that the successful farmer kept large amounts of cash nearby.
The information was false, so in a fit of rage, the men murdered the family by shooting them in the heads. The men were caught soon after and sentenced to death. The case became etched in history when Truman Capote wrote his best-selling classic true crime book, In Cold Blood, about the case.
Sharon Tate Murder
Sharon Tate was on her way to becoming a huge Hollywood actress, especially after her highly recognized performance in Valley of the Dolls. On August 8th, 1969, the ready-to-pop pregnant Tate and her 3 friends were murdered by the Charles Manson family in her home.
The victims were stabbed and shot. Tate was said to have begged for her child’s life, but she and the child were stabbed 16 times. The Manson “family” was later charged and sentenced to prison.
Sean Taylor Murder
Sean Taylor had one of the brightest futures in football, but in 2007 and at the young age of 24, he was shot and killed in his Miami home. The shooting came 8 days after his home was burglarized. His girlfriend and 18-month old daughter hid under the bed as 5 men robbed and killed Taylor. All 5 men were later caught. Taylor’s team, the Washington Redskins, honored him by wearing his #21 on their helmets.
JonBenet Ramsey Murder
One of the most haunting cases is also the most mysterious. The 1996 murder of the 6-year old beauty queen shook the community of Boulder, Colorado, as well as the rest of the country.
Ramsey’s face covered every magazine for months, as the case become more and more sensationalized. The killer has yet to be found, but that didn’t stop the media from accusing the parents of the heinous strangling. In 2008, the Boulder D.A. released a statement that DNA proved that the Ramsey family was innocent of the crime.
Although we may all want to believe that we are safe in our homes as soon as the doors are locked, the reality is that danger can be lurking just around the corner. Hopefully, these brutal stories have been enough to convince you to improve your home’s security as well as your family’s safety.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from California whose writing specializes in home security and improvement, family health, travel and technology. She keeps her family and home safe with the latest in home security. You can follow her on her Facebook and Twitter.
Extraordinary Cases of Missing People Who Were Ultimately Found
The recent rescue of three Ohio women — Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight — after they had been missing for approximately a decade has captured the attention of the nation as an extraordinary story. The women had been kidnapped and were being held captive by three men all that time. Their story and their heroic rescue has captivated us all.
There are — surprisingly — many more stories like theirs of women and men who were found many years or even many decades after they went missing. Some were taken, while others left on their own. Here are just a few of the extraordinary cases of missing people who were ultimately found:
Jaycee Lee Dugard
In this well-known case, Jaycee Lee Dugard was found 18 years after she had been kidnapped. She was taken by a husband and wife when she was only 11 and kept against her will in their home. The couple kept a hidden back yard that was guarded by a tall fence, trees and a tarp. Jaycee was kept in a series of sheds that were soundproofed.
Jaycee was discovered when she accompanied her captor to a meeting with his parole officer.
Natascha Kampusch was kidnapped by Wolfgang Priklopi when she was only 10 years old. For almost 9 years, she was kept in a windowless, underground cell and repeatedly raped. Ultimately, she was able to escape on her own, and her captor committed suicide.
Shawn Hornbeck was kidnapped when he was 11 years old. Four years later, he was rescued by police, who were serving a search warrant to look for another missing boy in the home of William Benjamin Ownby.
Heist’s case is another that has made recent headlines. Brenda Heist was declared legally dead after being missing for many years. Eleven years after she went missing, she was found alive in Florida. She had turned herself in because she believed she was wanted on a warrant, and her true identity was discovered. She said that she had left with a group of hitchhikers who had found her crying over her impending divorce and financial troubles and had invited her to go with them. She left behind two children, 8 and 12.
Denise Desruisseaux Bolser
Like Brenda Heist’s case, this one turned out to be another missing person who left willingly. Sort of. Denise Desruisseaux Bolser was missing for 17 years before she was found after a private investigator who was browsing missing person files recognized her. Bolser says that she was helping her former boss cook the books, and he had threatened to kill her for her involvement. She faked a kidnapping note and fled.
There are many more cases of people who went missing and were found many more years later. Though the circumstances of their disappearance are never good, the fact that they are found and able to be reunited with their families is a positive. Many victims of kidnapping and sexual abuse have also gone on to raise awareness for victims of these types of crimes.
Amber Satka writes on financial topics, such as her look into biweekly car payments. Amber is a former office manager and current mother and writer
5 Most Horrific Convictions Involving Child Murders
Murder is always tragic, but it seems to be even more so when a child is involved. Even worse is when one person is convicted for killing dozens or even hundreds of children. This is a gruesome legacy that leaves behind families who have to grapple with that loss for years to come.
Here are 5 of the most horrific convictions involving child murders:
Though her conviction was later overturned, Andrea Yates was found guilty of murdering her 5 children by drowning them one-by-one in the bathroom of her home in 2001. The oldest child was 7 and the youngest was 6 months old. She was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, but her conviction was overturned when expert testimony was called into question. When she was retried, she was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was committed to a mental-health facility.
Canadian Karla Homolka served only 12 years in prison for drugging, raping, torturing and killing young girls, including her own sister. When she was 17, Homolka became romantically involved with Paul Bernando, who became known as the Scarborough Rapist. She helped him to drug and rape young girls, believed to be virgins, including her own 15-year-old sister. They killed their victims, and even cut up some of their bodies.
Pedro Alonzo Lopez
Known as “The Monster of the Andes,” Pedro Alonzo Lopez confessed to killing at least 110 children in Ecuador, over 100 children in Colombia, and 100 more children in Peru. Acting out his rage for being raped and sexually violated multiple times as a child and a young man, Lopez sought out young girls to rape and to murder, and he vowed that if he were let out of prison, he would continue doing so. Though he spent more than 20 years in prison, he was ultimately released and remains at large today.
Joachim Kroll was convicted of 8 murders in his native Germany, but he confessed to 13 murders. Known as “the Ruhr Cannibal” and the “Duisburg Man-Eater,” Kroll murdered and ate his young victims, including one girl who was 4 years old. Police arrested him after a neighbor complained of blocked pipes and the remains of the young girl were found inside. Kroll thought an operation would cure him of his homicidal urges, but he ultimately died of a heart attack in prison.
This infamous serious killer was responsible for the deaths of at least 17 men and young boys between 1978 and 1991. He sexually abused his victims (alive and dead) then killed them, dismembered them and ate them. When he was arrested, police found several corpses in his apartment, including dismembered heads and skulls. Dahmer was sentenced to 15 life terms, and he died in prison after being attacked by another inmate.
Though it’s hard to qualify the murder of any child as “worse” than another, these convictions stood at as some of the most horrific in recent memory.
About the Author:
Alexis Bonari writes for one of the largest open databases of college funding opportunities. Specific topics like scholarships for college are described in detail to provide multiple resources for students.