Signs Your Child is Drinking, What to Do

When children run afoul of the law, it is often easy to lose sight of the fact that they are at a critical point in their lives, developmentally speaking.  As parents, we want to ensure that our children are not headed down a bad path.

As a trusted local Virginia Beach and Norfolk Criminal Defense and Alcohol Awareness Attorney, I want to provide you with 5 common signs that your child may have a drinking problem.  Consuming ANY alcohol under the age of 21 is a “problem,” and as a parent, YOU can be held liable for certain offenses related to your kids and alcohol.  If you or your child is facing alcohol-related charges, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation.  Based on my years of experience handling cases for a wide range of clients, including many teenagers and young adults, below I have provided five key signals parents should be on the lookout for.  It is always better to correct a child’s behavior before the police become involved.  If law enforcement is already in the picture, your Virginia Beach Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer can ease tensions, provide a roadmap the case ahead of you or your child, and how to best prepare for court.  Here are 5 signs your child may be using alcohol:

  1. Your child is fighting with his or her friends, family members, or significant other more than usual;
  2. Your child has been accused of, or has unequivocally damaged property;
  3. Your child is habitually late arriving to school or coming home;
  4. You smell alcohol on your child’s person; and/or
  5. You find empty bottles in your child’s room or car.

It is important to keep an eye on your child’s welfare and behavioral patterns while they are under your roof.  From the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, “Virginia law recognizes your liability for negligence if you provide alcohol to a minor who causes injury to another or him/herself. You may also face criminal charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

If your child has been charged with an alcohol-related offense, you should explain how serious the charges are immediately.  Consider that although your child may have made a mistake, his or her rights and reputation is on the line.  Set a good example by taking the situation seriously yourself, and consider hiring an experienced Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer.  Attorneys are able to accept payment for a client by a third party, such as a parent, as long as the client agrees to such an arrangement.  For obvious reasons, this is rarely a problem when it comes to underage alcohol-related offenses.  Your Norfolk and Virginia Beach-serving Criminal Lawyer is equipped to explain the charges to your child, prepare him or her for court, and offer solutions to avoid trouble in the future.