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When I was in high school, I was a hard core rebel.

Like my friends and I used to go to this liquor store on the wrong side of the tracks that served minors and get an entire six pack of wine coolers. That’s right. We each drank one and a half.

I used to smoke clove cigarettes in my backyard.

I had an asymmetrical haircut my sophomore year. (Coincidentally, although I’m sure unrelated, I don’t remember a lot of boys liking me that year.)

I would drink a diet coke and two Cadbury creme eggs for lunch.

I wrote Mrs. Ralph Macchio on my notebooks.

I worked at a gourmet dog food store.

I wore Wet n Wild lipstick.

I used only 4 SPF sunscreen at the beach.

Obviously, I was one bad ass chick.

But the one thing I tried to avoid was drinking and driving. I really thank my high school because they showed this unbelievably scary video of people who had been injured and disfigured in drunk driving accidents. And that thing haunted me for years.

I wasn’t afraid of dying. I was afraid of looking really bad.

The video worked. Which is why I plan to hunt down that 1986 Betacam tape and show it to my own kids some day. Because few things terrify me more than thinking of my children behind the wheel, texting, drinking and putting their lives at risk.

Which is why I wanted to do a sponsored post for Soberlink. It’s a very cool blood alcohol testing device that is compatible with most smart phones. It takes a photo as the person is breathing into the device, and it sends an immediate picture, blood alcohol level, and GPS coordinate, so it’s an easy way for parents to monitor their child’s drinking.

Oh my god, I love technology. My poor parents weren’t able to reach me for hours and I will be able to check my kids alcohol level while getting the coordinates of their location! Makes it so much easier to stalk them, I mean, keep track of them.

Here’s a video about the product…

So what you all think? Would you have your teenager use a device like this? Has anyone come up with technology that can keep teenagers from going out in the first place?!!

39 Responses to and one day my kids will turn into teenagers

  • Julie McGuire says:

    As a mother of three teenagers, I would use this in a nano second. Between this and the Latitude app, my bases are covered.

    Thank God they didn’t have this around when I was a teen though.

  • I had a foreshadowing of the forthcoming teenage years during one of my eleven year-old stepdaughter’s sleepovers last year. One of the girls had a cell and all four girls were in the family room, silently giggling over the phone. I hear whispers of, “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe you got a picture of him wearing that! He’s naked! That’s so gross! Do your parents know about this?”

    Of course, I started to hyperventilate, imagining the porn they probably had on the phone and imagining the conversation I’d have to have with all the mothers about how their daughters saw a horribly inappropriate picture at our home.

    In the middle of my heart attack, the cell phone owner comes up to me and asks if I’d like to see a funny picture. It’s her baby brother, naked, wearing her swimsuit. No exposed body parts. Very giggly to several ten year-old girls.

    Whew. No nude pictures of Justin Bieber.

    At least for now.

  • jill Sherman says:

    One teenager left in my house (out of 3)…been raising kids for 21 years…… in my “late” 40’s and I am trying (really hard) to stay on my game… I am tired out and need some assistance….I am totally looking into this Kelcey….THANK YOU!!!!

  • But…doesn’t this require the teen’s cooperation? They’re at a party and you’re at home and they’re going to say, “Oh, wait a sec, my mom wants me to take this breathalyzer test?” Am I misunderstanding how this device is used?

    And maybe I’m in the minority here, but I’m more worried about my teens hurting some innocent person while drunk/text/stupid driving than hurting themselves. It’s one thing to suffer the consequences of your own bad decisions, but to inflict those consequences on some innocent bystander?

    I do get that teens only think of themselves and therefore the drunk driving education focuses on that (and please pass us all that video if you can find it); but I’m astounded at how many parents let their teens use the family car to drive packs of friends around without thinking about who can get hurt besides their own precious offspring. I have done my best to keep the roads safer by trying to keep my teens out of the cars of other teen drivers; but it is a losing battle when other parents are not monitoring how their own teens are using those cars.

    Pet peeve, can you tell? But please, people, it doesn’t matter how good a driver your teen is – when there are other kids in the car, he becomes a very bad driver. I’ve seen it time and again, even with my own extremely cautious son. Don’t let your teen driver take passengers!

    • Kelcey says:

      I agree. I think some states prevent new drivers from having other teens in the car which is an excellent idea.

      Soberlink is definitely a partnership between you and your teen. They are allowed to use the car and go out IF they agree to send you their blood alcohol level. I would love to hear what people think who have used it.

  • Sounds like we would have had fun together in 1986 – but I preferred Boonesfarm, Virginia Slims and sported pink hair. I was popular – but perhaps it was because I was easy..hhhmmm..something to ponder.

    Anyway, with all that said I am scared to have teenagers in a short 4 years. Thanks for the info on this product. Interesting.

  • Jordana says:

    I love your reminiscing. And you forgot to mention that you were in a band!! Pink Lace. Oh my god can you believe we seriously CHOSE that name? Too funny.

      • Jordana says:

        I think Megan Joyce. Maybe Michelle Atherton – but I definitely could be wrong. And all Rachel could play was the beginning of A-Ha’s “Take On Me.”

  • Lisa says:

    “Silver City Pink” that was my Wet n Wild lipstick color! (I feel like a bad mother – that was my take away from this post)

  • Beth says:

    Totally. I would definitely use it. My oldest is 14 1/2 and will be getting her permit in less than a year. Of course, I am praying that she has the common sense to not drink & drive, but if this device would help her keep her good judgement, then I’m all for it!

    Also, I saw an app you could put on your kids’ phones that disables their phone from receiving texts while driving. I think it sends the text sender a text back saying “I’m driving right now…I’ll answer your text later” so they know why they’re not responding. Then, when the car stops, the texts go through. Also, if the kid tries to delete the app, or tries texting while driving, you get an alert on your phone. I’m not 100% sure how it works (saw it on the Today show a month or so ago), but I definitely think it’s a GREAT idea and won’t hesitate to download it on her phone when the time comes. Because I’m all about stalking my kids if it keeps them safe! 🙂

  • David says:

    Am I the only one offended by this? If you can’t trust your child to make reasonable choices, then what the HECK are they doing with car keys?

    There are two trust issues here- alcohol and driving. We make alcohol so taboo in this country that it breeds a fascination with it. If it’s presented in a responsible manner and not treated as evil, then you take away a lot of the excitement of drinking as a teenager and a lot of the likelihood of binge drinking…

    As a counterexample, how many of you noticed that the people that seemed to end up in the hospital as college freshmen due to dangerous drinking the most often were the ones that came from restrictive homes where drinking was ‘evil’, whether for religious or other reasons?

    I’m a parent of infant twin daughters, and while I’m absolutely concerned about their safety and want the very best for them, I think a device like this Soberlink is at a minimum detrimental, and very likely damaging to a trusting relationship in both directions. The last thing I am going to want to do is tell my daughters to their faces that I don’t trust them in the slightest. If something like the Soberlink is the best option for them, then I’ve failed miserably as a parent.

    • Kelcey says:

      I do agree with the first part of your comment. I think alcohol is way to taboo in the united states. And it does end up encouraging binge drinking.

      But I do think Soberlink could be a useful deterrent in stopping kids from driving drunk. It’s perhaps a way to deter peer pressure by saying, “Oh, I can’t drink. I’m driving and my annoying mom makes me send her my blood alcohol level.”

  • Tonya says:

    I’m building a bunker for my teenager (he’s only 3 at the moment) where he will be house for the duration of his teen years. Should he escape though, I think Soberlink is an awesome solution and it seems like it could spark a few really great discussions between kids and parents which I think is a rarity once they hit 14, no?

  • Loukia says:

    The very simple solution is to pinky swear with your kids that they will NEVER try alcohol, EVER, and never try a cigarette. While you’re pinky swearing, make sure they agree to move in next door should the house ever go up for sale, and to only marry a woman/man that you approve of before hand. 🙂

    That can TOTALLY happen, right?

    Seriously, that’s a cool device. Anything to help our kids stay safe. (I’m totally going to be DD… maybe they’ll let me be the COOL MOM and go out with them? NO? Sigh.)

  • Nicole says:

    for serious, this is the 3rd soberlink sponsored post I’ve read today. And probably the 6th or 7th in the past week. And apparently every single one of you totally supports it! Because “when my babies are teenagers I will be a total dictator for their safety so there!”

    I don’t have a problem with you guys making a few bucks, I’m really enjoying the free entertainment. But I don’t think you’re keeping it real with this one.






  • kokopuff says:

    I love how technology lets me spy on my kids: I faithfully use the “Family Locator” app that is available with sprint phone service. As long as my teenager’s phone is on, I can find where they are, usually within a few yards. That’s come in handy many times. I tell them if they don’t like it, buy their own phone and pay for the monthly service.

    I like soberlink…to the dad who thinks it’s all a matter of trust…well, your kids are infants, you’ll learn as they get older that no matter how good a job you do as a parent, sometimes your kids make stupid choices–they smoke, they drink, they do drugs, they lie. This is a good deterrent.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    The drinking/driving problem is easily solved. Raise the driving age to 21 and lower the drinking age to 16. That should keep them busy and safe.

    • David says:

      You know, this probably isn’t as crazy of an idea as it seems on the surface…

      Sure, this is hardly a simple discussion, as raising the driving age has lots of consequences across the board, but I think there’s something to be said for the idea.

      And lowering the drinking age seems reasonable to me. Make it less exciting and taboo, and you get rid of a lot of the allure of alcohol. If you’ve been having a glass of wine or a beer with dinner with your family on a semi-regular basis, is a case of Keystone Light at a party going to seem interesting? Not likely.

      • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

        At all our holiday events, wine spritzers were available to any of the teens who wanted one. Lots of soda, with a little bit of wine. No one got drunk, no one grew up alcoholic, and we ‘learned’ how to drink with our parents’ permission and in their company. Safe and sane…

  • Jackie says:

    My son wasn’t a partier in high school He was kind of a home body. After being gone for sports year around he was a tired as we were at times. He told me the reason he didn’t is because my brother died drinking and driving.

    Blake did drink his freshman year at college but he slept where he drank and I was fine with that. The college he is going to this year checks all the kids dorms. 🙂 With him so far away this year I’m not gonna lie. I’m loving that.

  • David says:

    So I have a question for the commenters at large here, because I’m genuinely curious. How many of you had issues with drinking and driving when you were teenagers? This feels like a cop-out of a ‘solution’ that can be handled elsewhere by being involved in our kids’ lives. I know that if I’d ever even considered drinking in high school (regardless of whether there was going to be driving involved), my parents would have known about it, and I don’t feel like they were ‘helicopter parents’ or overly invasive. It was understood that that wasn’t acceptable, end of discussion.

    I guess my main point here is that generally speaking, our generation turned out ok, and we didn’t have our parents spying on our every move, having us take breathalyzer tests at a whim, etc. The world is *not* more dangerous for kids now than it was 20 or 30 years ago, so I really just don’t understand the mentality here. Just because we *can* spy on our kids easily like this, doesn’t mean we *should*.

    • Juley says:

      To answer some of your questions, I was a good student who played 3 sports went to church and spent plenty of time at home with my loving, involved and supportive parents. My Mom was a stay at home mom and my Dad was home quite often because he worked 24hours on and 48 off. My parents trusted us until we proved untrustworthy. Even with the ideal home life, I still went to parties (at least 3 or 4 a month) and drank alcohol and drove myself and friends home or rode with friends who had probably been drinking also. I look back on my reckless teen years and feel lucky to be alive and to have not harmed anyone else. Teenagers have an indestructible mentality and I think even the most involved and loving parents can have an offspring that break laws and act reckless. If my parents had something like soberlink I would have had no choice but to behave. (or really I would have just rode with my friends more)

      I think that you knowing that drinking was unacceptable and you actually did not do it is remarkable. You are the minority and I hope my kids are more like you than me. But chances are they will be more like me so I would have no problem using something like soberlink.

    • melanie says:

      i DON’T think our generation “turned out okay…”

      i went to a pretty small high school and we had several kids killed from being drunk, whether in driving accidents or otherwise. of COURSE i want to have a relationship of trust with my children; of COURSE i want them to have a healthy perspective on alcohol and drinking; of COURSE i hope that other parents will monitor their homes and children…but the truth is that there are cracks that kids fall through every single day, even with loving parents who do everything they can to the best of their ability. i think apps and other devices that provide accountability to kids when parents are not around are only beneficial.

  • Dez says:

    Ok as I teen I shaved off half of my very long hair- didnt impress any guys that I knew either.
    You can You-tube mock drunk driving accidents to see videos, they also have actual videos of drunk driving accidents. A couple of our local schools do mock accidents right around prom.

  • Kerri says:

    My dh & I are willing to pick up our kids & even their friends (we have a 12 passenger van) vs having anyone drink & drive.

    Last Saturday night. I got pulled over by the Police in our 1990 red & silver truck with cab. The officer asks if I have been drinking. “No officer, I have not had a drop.” This is why I usually don’t drink any alcohol at all if I am driving as I can say that sentence with all honesty. Then he asks where I was heading, “Home, which is just a few minutes away.”, He wanted to know where I had come from, so I told him the name of the town. Then he wants to know where I was there…uggg….”I was at the Pub?! BUT I was the designated driver so that is why I was not drinking!” I actually was as I had given a friend a ride home & we had planned it this way as I had picked her up. I had my next line ready, “Actually if you want to check with her partner he is a Police Officer in _________ and my friend I gave a ride to just texted to let him know she was safe & sound. He knows I don’t drink & drive. I was the teenager that went to parties, didn’t drink & then drove everyone else home! This was after as a younger teen I had a very bad experience & decided I needed to be the one to keep my friends safe.

  • N and Em's mom says:

    I think that this would be more useful for my teenager to have as a way to check the person driving her. No one ever says they are too drunk to drive. I always think of the video of Princess Di’s driver walking across the lobby of the hotel with no obvious impairment, then finding out after the crash that he was sh*t-faced drunk.

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kelcey kintner