Leave Him in Jail to Teach a Lesson?


leave son in jail or bail him outAnne_80 is facing a difficult dilemma I'm sure any mom with teenagers wouldn't envy. Her 18-year-old son was arrested for a DUI that resulted in an accident. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured; but now, she's trying to decide whether to leave him in jail until his trial date to teach him a lesson or bail him out.

It's obviously been tough for Anne_80 to leave him in there. As a mom she has practical concerns for his safety, and says, "It's hard to see your child that way."

However, she also recognizes how serious his offense is and thinks that serving jail time might be the only opportunity to teach him an important lesson. "Despite realizing that it's not really that uncommon of a thing for someone his age to be out drinking and partying some, I couldn't overlook the fact that he made a conscious decision to drive drunk," she says.



If your child was arrested for driving under the influence, would you leave her/him in jail or bail them out?

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Total Votes: 146

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Every parent tries to make the choices they feel will best help their child in the long run, so thanks for not judging or bashing this mom's very personal and difficult decision.

Would prolonged jail time be an effective deterrent for your own child? Have you ever left your teen in jail to teach a lesson? Did it work?

discipline, driving, drugs & alcohol, teens


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zachy... zachysmommy04

I would leave him in there. If you bail him out then he thinks that well if it happens again mom will just bail me out.  He will never learn. He needs to be in there for him to understand that if you do stupid things this is were you end up and it is not a nice place. Let him grow take a moment and grow up or you will always have this problem.

auror... aurorabunny

I would leave him in there as well.  DUI is serious and so many kids never learn from it.  My SIL got a DUI and her parents were really mad--AT THE COPS.  They went on and on about how the cops don't have anything better to do (my SILs blood alcohol level was super high too) and the bailed her out and paid her lawyer fees.  Guess what, she still drives around wasted all the time because she didn't learn anything.

AK_aries AK_aries

I wanted to add, here if you get bailed out you are no longer eligible for a public defender (if you have money to bail out you have money to pay an attorney).  Unless he has the money or unless you are going to help him pay for one I would leave him in there untill he is able to get one.

My kids are little still, but I think I would leave them in there too.  Heartbreaking as it is, I would rather them learn the lessoin the first time, instead of learning that mom will always bail them out of trouble.  Tough love is tougher on parents sometimes than I think on the kids, but you got to do it hard the first time and hopefully there wont be a repeat.  Good Luck.

RanaA... RanaAurora

I read this when she posted it.
Her UNDERAGE son was drunk, and then drove.
If the worst he has to suffer was sitting on his ass in a jail cell for a MONTH in paper clothing, he's damned lucky.
Not only should he not have been drinking, but he could have KILLED someone.  Time being scared and uncomfortable in jail is NOTHING compared to what would have happened had he killed someone because he was a stupid ass and drove drunk.

It IS hard to see your child that way... but you have to keep reminding yourself that they put themselves there.  Visit them, bring them snacks from home and crap if it makes you feel better, but DO NOT bail them out.  Let them reap what they sew.

eeyor... eeyoreplus4

I would leave my child. He got lucky that no one was hurt, but what if they had been? He could have killed someone or permanently injured them. This is a small price for him topay for his decision. If he is bailed out, he will not suffer & he will not learn.

I totally sympathize with the mom, but a hopefully, one-time punishment is better than a life altering & possibly deadly second chance.

Lanasmom Lanasmom

He thought he was big enough to drink, and then drove--so if it was me i would leave him--If he's going to drink, he has to learn that there are consequences that go with it.

MomIWant MomIWant

I have always believed that I would be tough...we have a "rule" at home about two reasons you should never call home for help..the first is being arrested for shoplifting and the second is being arrested for a DUI.  I am STRICTLY against drunk driving and find it inexcusable...

With that said...I can only imagine how hard to enforce those rules would be on me and how hard this must be for Anne_80.  My son was in an accident over a year ago and when I arrived on the scene, I knew he was lying about something, maybe everything, but I KNEW he was not telling the complete truth...the police on the scene were not going to site him for any reason, they were assuming it was an accident due to road conditions...at that moment if I had been the kind of parent I always thought I was, the strict "you must suffer the consequences for your action" type of parent, I would have spoken up...but I stayed quiet.  While my son has not driven since that day (because I was right, he was not telling the truth), I still wonder if we were being good parents by staying quiet and handling it at home.  While he was not  drinking when the accident occurred, he still had made very questionable decisions which contributed to the accident & we "bailed" him out by allowing the police to buy his load of crap.  So....I guess what I'm saying is it's always easy to SAY what you would do but when it is time to DO what you say it's so much harder.

Peajewel Peajewel

This is a really tough one.  It is easy to sit back and say what you would do in that situation but until you are in it, I don't think you can.  Maybe it is a first offense, maybe this is the kind of kid that only needs to be arrested to get the picture and sitting in jail is only going to make matters worse.  I just think that you cannot say that in EVERY instance you would let the kid sit.....you just can't.  We are all different and because of that it takes different levels of fear to "teach us a lesson".

This_... This_Xs_A_Charm

I agree I think that it should be handled according to the child.  Where underaged drinking is a bad thing and I am sure that you do not approve, there are so many other issues to look into this.  Is this child a problem child?  Have you had issues other than this in the past?  I think that you need to sit them down and explain to them how lucky they are they did not kill someone.  I can tell you that my son would probably rather sit in the jail than deal with listening to the lectures that he has to at home. 

I remember reading something someone said on here, I can't remember where or who, but it was something like if you don't have child a certain age you can't say what you would do with them in a certain situation.  So, I think that matter should apply here as well, if you do not have an 18 year old you should not not have an opinion in this matter either.   You have to wait until you do.

StefI... StefInfection

My dad would have left me in jail and probably beat the crap out of me when I got home. I'd still be in trouble. He needs taught a lesson. Every action has repercussions he's lucky he didn't kill someone. If he gets bailed out what is that teaching him its OK to go about life and not have to pay for what you do. Life is little harder and he made the decision to drive in that state so he should have to take responsibility for what happened based on his decision. If he's never been in trouble before he may get off pretty easy but if he's been in and out of the courts well he may be made an example.

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