Who Party Too Hard
By Eric Granof
As we quickly approach Halloween, one of the most popular holidays of the year, many young college kids are scrambling for the perfect costume and making big plans for that big blow-out of a party.
Unfortunately, many holiday revelers, plan for everything except the one thing they never think could possibly happen to them: getting arrested and going to jail. Holidays with a significant alcohol component to them, like Halloween, are notorious for being times of the year when many college-aged kids have a little too much fun, get a little too crazy, and get themselves into trouble. Perhaps it is the result of inexperience or just getting used to their first taste of freedom and college life, but kids partying a little too hard around Halloween and getting in trouble with the law is an all-too-common occurrence. Whether it’s being arrested for DUI, public intoxication, or even vandalism, what started out as an evening of fun can quickly turn into a nightmare.
When this scenario unfolds, a bail bond agent is the first person to whom young people and families usually turn. While that may be common knowledge, what may surprise many is the supportive role that bail agents take in times of crisis.
While many people know what a bail agent does, very few ever plan on needing their services. That can quickly change when a parent gets that call at 3:00 am from their son or daughter with the words they never want to hear – “Mom, Dad – I’m in jail!”
Typically, parents don’t know what to do. They may panic and cause themselves enormous stress, which does not help the situation. Fortunately the majority of bail agents are all too familiar with this scenario. In fact, the best ones do more than merely write the bond that releases the individual from incarceration, but take the time to calm families down, while explaining the process. Many become de facto counselors, guiding them through what is certainly one of the darkest moments of their lives. Sometimes it takes the form of offering some personal words of wisdom, an anecdote from their own experiences, or sometimes just good, old-fashioned encouragement to help them through. Most just feel it’s a part of the job.
The majority of bail agents know that it’s also important to impress upon young people the severity of being in trouble with the law. They will often sit with them and explain the potential repercussions they might be facing due to their arrest. These conversations can be eye-opening and life-changing. For example, when a young person gets a DUI, the repercussions can include everything from:
- The potential loss of scholarships they have been awarded
- The high costs involved – easily $20,000 or more and the stress they have caused their family
- Losing one’s driver license.
- Impacting one’s ability to get future employment.
- Losing the right to vote in elections – ever.
- Hindering one’s ability to rent an apartment or house
- Preventing one from being eligible for professional licenses, including those for accounting, plumbing, electrical work, insurance agent…and much more.
A good bail agent understands the impact that they have had with the individuals they have bailed out, especially young ones. From drug counseling to alcohol programs, bail agents are often called upon to provide assistance to individuals in need to receive necessary help to get their lives back on track. At the same time, they can play a crucial role in a young person’s life by educating them on the possible negative outcomes associated with irresponsible behavior.
Every parent who has ever sent a kid off to college worries about them. And it’s even more difficult when that concern turns out to be justified if they’re arrested. While no one ever wants to actually need the services of a bail agent, it’s nice to know they’re available to lend a gentle helping hand – and maybe give some life-changing advice to a son or daughter who might just be in the mood to listen.
Eric Granof serves as Vice President of Corporate Communications for AIA/ExpertBail. The AIA family of companies is the nation’s largest underwriter of bail and has been partnering with agents across the country for over a century. Formed in 2003, AIA is an alliance of the industry’s leading insurance companies Allegheny Casualty, International Fidelity Insurance Company, and Associated Bond. ExpertBail is a national network of bail bonds agents, which sets professional standards of integrity and conduct for agencies throughout the country. Created by AIA, ExpertBail also serves to educate the public on how bail, properly handled, supports the criminal justice system and increases public safety. More information available at www.ExpertBail.com.