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Greetings Parents! And welcome to the Parent's Place.

We believe that you - the parents of young drivers - play a critical roll in preparing America's children for a future of safe driving. You have a great deal of influence on the decision your children will make. Perhaps more than you realize.

That is exactly why we created this section of the "What's Driving You?" DUI Prevention Web-Site just for you. In the articles listed below you will find a plethora of information addressing critical issues, such as the process of getting a driver's license, underage drinking and zero tolerance laws. We hope they answer your key questions.

Also, please take a few minutes to read the Parents Guide to "What's Driving You?" This web site could be the starting point for some very important conversations you need to have with your child. Start talking now, before it's too late!

Graduated Licensing

In literally every country in the world where cars are a common means of transportation, teenagers are disproportionately involved in motor vehicle crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety attributes a full 82% of crashes involving 16-year-old drivers to driver error caused by risk taking and inexperience. The dire nature of this problem has been recognized for decades, yet few public policies have had an impact. . Recently, however, one approach has been proven to make young people into safer drivers: Graduated Licensing Systems.

Your involvement as a parent - is an integral part of the success of Graduated Licensing Systems. We encourage you to review the Graduated Licensing section of this site with your child, so that you may better understand this important process.

Also, the following articles provide more insight on the topic specifically for parents of young drivers.

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Zero Tolerance Laws

As you are probably well aware, it is illegal for individuals under 21 to consume alcoholic beverages in the United States. Yet, until just a few years ago the laws as to what constituted driving under the influence of alcohol were the same for minors and adults.

This, of course, makes no sense, especially given the extreme risk that young people who drive while drinking pose to themselves and people around them. In 1996, 21% of all 15-20 year olds involved in fatal crashes had been drinking. These young drivers are 6.7% of the driving population, yet they constitute 14% of the alcohol-related fatalities among drivers of all ages. Zero Tolerance laws are one way to change this deadly pattern.

And just what are Zero Tolerance laws? Well the name pretty much says it all. Zero Tolerance laws have no tolerance whatsoever for underage drivers who get behind the wheel of a car after consuming alcohol by making it illegal for people under 21 to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their bodies because it is illegal for them to drink in the first place.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have established lower blood alcohol thresholds that are illegal per se for drivers younger than 21. Federal legislation enacted in 1995 that allowed for the withholding of highway funds played a role in motivating states to pass such laws. In the spring of 1998 South Carolina became the 50th state to adopt a Zero Tolerance policy.

And do such laws work? Quite frankly: yes.

Dr. Hingson of Boston University published the first national analysis on the impact of Zero Tolerance laws (Public Health Reports, December 1994) . He compared the fatality statistics in the first twelve states to lower legal limits below the level tolerated by legal drinkers for drivers under 21 to those in nearby states that did not change the limits. Zero Tolerance laws lowered the number of fatal crashes most likely to involve alcohol by 20% .

We encourage you to review the Zero Tolerance section of this site with your teenager. Also, read on to learn more about underage drinking in general. It is not enough to tell your child that they cannot drink and drive; they should not be drinking at all!

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Underage Drinking

You must be at least 21 years old to consume alcohol in the US - it's the law. Yet, it's a law that many youth - and some parents - tend to ignore.

This issue cannot be taken lightly. In many states providing alcohol to an underage drinker or drinkers - even your child and his or her friends -(an result in criminal charges. Certain cities and towns have even begun to explore more serious punishments for such actions. You could even be held legally responsible for damage caused by young people who drink in your home?

Most states also impose some financial responsibility on parents of minor children who injure someone or maliciously damage or destroy other's property. Because such violent and destructive acts increase greatly when alcohol is a factor, you as a parent could also be held financially responsible for the consequences your child's drinking.

How do you deal with this seemingly monstrous topic? Educate yourself (you can start by reading the articles listed below) and talk to your teenager. Research has shown time and time again that one sure factor which reduces underage drinking is communication between parent and child. This is your place. Do your part.

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Parents' Guide to "What's Driving You?"

This site consists of various different components, as explained below. It is our belief that if you, the parents, understand the purpose of each section of the site you will be better prepared to use the "What's Driving You?" web site as a conversation starter with your children.

about us In this section you will find background information about Intervention Instruction Inc. and the "What's Driving You?" web site, including a profile of our founder and president, Monsignor Ignatius McDermott.
virtual party The true essence of "What's Driving You?" is found in the Virtual Party section of the site. Actually, two virtual parties are taking place on this web site: one for underage drinkers, and one for the legal drinking age. All visitors to are "carded" on their way in , and sent to the appropriate party according to what they enter as their birth date. Of course young visitors may lie to enter the virtual party intended for older guests. They will not find the information most applicable to their current situation. . Once the visitors enter the party they are introduced to a cast of characters. The guests pick a character who they will then follow through the course of an evening, making choices for their character and immediately seeing the outcomes of this decision making process. By "partying" in this fashion, guests of the "What's Driving You?" web site are able to see the outcomes of risky drinking, drugging and driving without actually engaging in such risky behavior. You may want to "party" with your child, and discuss each decision with him or her. All decisions presented in the party situations are realistic, and present dilemmas that many young people must face each and every day.
wdy challenge This is the quiz portion of the site. Visitors are asked five very important questions, which they answer by making selections from multiple responses. When the visitor picks an incorrect answer, they are encouraged to try again. Explanations for the answers are also provided. When the challenge is completed, the visitor is given his or her score, and directed to the section of the site find additional information on topics with which they had difficulty.
parents place This is where you are now!
ask our panel In the Expert Panel area, visitors can pose questions tp our panel of specialists, who include a Circuit Court Judge, a Physician, a Psychologist and a Fitness Specialist. Though our experts provide no direct legal, medical or therapeutic advice, they do respond to all legitimate questions and post their responses on the site regularly . Visitors can also search questions asked in the past and read the experts' responses .
helpful sites In this section you will find links to a wide variety other web sites which serve as additional resources on topics covered on "What's Driving You?"
reading room The Reading Room features a library of articles addressing the vast array of topics covered on the site, from How to be a Good Host, to general facts about alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and other drugs. This collection of information is growing larger every day, so it is a good place to search for resources on a wide variety of topics.
local laws The Local Laws section provides legal information specific to all areas of the U.S.
grad lic This section explains the Graduated Licensing system now common in many states. Much of the information in this section is specific to Illinois, where "What's Driving You?" is produced.
0 tolerance This section details Zero Tolerance Laws in the United States. Again, specific information about how Illinois handles this issue is also provided. [wanted this to mean something to the rest of the world…not sure if this phrasing does it]
what's new The What's New section is a constantly updated news resource, which provides updated information on happenings related to intoxicated driving, underage drinking, and public safety in general.
credits "What's Driving You?" would not exist without the assistance of many strong supporters and volunteers listed here.
contact us In this section you are encouraged to tell us a little about yourself, as well as to let us know what you think of the site, positive or negative. Your comments and opinions are very important to us. And though compliments are always appreciated, it is even more important that we address any problems or concerns that you may have.

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We certainly hope you enjoy your visit to "What's Driving You?" Please come again soon, and tell your friends and co-workers about our site! With your help "What's Driving You?" can save lives. Please help us spread the word!