Au Pair DUI: Rematch or not?

by cv harquail on November 30, 2015

The answer to this one is pretty clear to me, even though I’m not the host parent who’d have to find and train a new au pair right in time for the Holidays:15281535167_4e09d44c41_z

Writes HostMomWithCarTrouble:

Would you rematch if your Au Pair got a DUI?
It was our car. The kids were not in the car and she was not on duty.
Otherwise she has been a pretty good but not great Au Pair.

I’ll put this one to a poll– parents and Au Pairs– Weigh in!

Does DUI Mean Automatic Rematch?

View Results

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Image: Toy Cars by Jim Grey on Flickr


NoVA Twin Mom November 30, 2015 at 10:06 am

I voted rematch. There is very little that would cause me to automatically rematch, but a DUI would be one.

When our au pairs go out for their very first evening “out” I tell them – if you get too drunk to drive, call me. If your RIDE gets too drunk to drive, call me. I might be a little grumpy when I come get you – because it’s the middle of the night and I was sleeping – but the next day I will be SO GLAD you called for a ride. I’ll bring your whole group home. Whatever you do, don’t drive drunk or get in a car with someone who is drunk driving. I know they understand me because our applicant pool has very strong English skills, so there’s no language barrier here.

My underage au pairs have assured me that they’re under 21, they can’t get alcohol here. Uh huh. That’s when I repeat myself and add the emphasis on if their ride gets drunk.

If, after that speech, my au pair still managed to get a DUI, we’d rematch. Aside from the legalities of underage drinking and the fact that now that they’ve been arrested there’s a real chance their visa will be screwed up and they’ll have to go home anyway, getting a DUI means that they got drunk, got in a car, and were driving in such a way as to draw attention to themselves. At that point they got pulled over and cited. And if they are out and got caught in a checkpoint of some sort, they’re even worse off, because those nights tend to be the “call a taxi company if you partied too hard and get a free ride home” nights.

So yes, a DUI means a rematch. An underage DUI would mean living the two weeks (or whatever time remains until their flight home, as I can only hope the agency wouldn’t rematch an au pair with an underage DUI, but crazy things happen sometimes) at the LCC’s house and not ours.

HMwithproblem November 30, 2015 at 11:21 am

Hi, this is the OP. FWIW, yes. We had had that conversation more than once and had really tried to be clear that we WOULD prefer to come get her any hour than have her be at risk. We’d also brought up Uber as another option if she was ever to embarrassed to call us. Not that we expected this. We were just trying to be responsible HP. Guess we failed there. :(

Dorsi November 30, 2015 at 3:06 pm

You haven’t failed as a responsible hf. The AP failed to make good decisions. I think of this as practice parenting older kids – eventually they turn into autonomous human beings. Don’t complicate your decision making by thinking that you somehow caused or facilitated this problem (unless you did something like hand her alcohol then ask her to drive).

Mimi November 30, 2015 at 4:02 pm


German Au-Pair November 30, 2015 at 10:50 am

Simple question: do you think that DUI shows really bad judgment? If yes: rematch. If you think there are circumstances under which it’s okay -figure the situation out.
I know someone who felt like he had to DUI because his wife needed to go to a hospital asap and they were in a foreign country and while I still think “not okay”, I’m inclined to not attribute that to an overall reckless personality. But I don’t really see how a situation like that may occur with an au pair.
DUI in general shows to me a general willingness to endager others and therefore weird priorities (save money for cab over ensuring everyone’s safety or in general: drinking over ensuring everyone’s safety) and doing that with someone else’s car, in foreign country kinda doesn’t make the case any better.

I would like to add that I am usually devil’s advocate when it comes to jumping to conclusions about someone’s general judgement based on one incident but this is a no brainer to me.

HMwithproblem November 30, 2015 at 1:49 pm

I don’t think it was any kind of emergency like that. And I don’t know why she was pulled over. I’m not sure I’m getting honest answers from her. She is saying she wasn’t really drunk, but I’m not sure if that is the case. I’m also not sure what the agency’s policies are. I wanted to contact them after I make a decision.

hOstCDmom November 30, 2015 at 6:35 pm

I’m sorry you are dealing with this! Would you please let us know what your agency says and how they handle it? Many here are saying the agency will send the AP home for being arrested and/or DUI, but sadly that has not been our experience. I would like to hear that the agency takes this seriously, and has a policy, which they follow.

TexasHM November 30, 2015 at 7:24 pm

CCAP has a zero tolerance policy regardless of age and will send AP home (even if you loved her). Agencies have varying policies but this is not a minor incident. It wasn’t her car she decided to drive “not that drunk”. Even before we came to CCAP we had a zero tolerance policy on our car. You have one beer, you’re not driving our car tonight. Eliminates the AP judgment scale.

hOstCDmom November 30, 2015 at 8:27 pm

Nope – we were CCAP; bropair. He was not sent home.

TexasHM December 1, 2015 at 1:25 am

Did the LC not report it? I know of 2 APs sent straight home for incidents (not even duis) and families fought to give them another chance. Nope – ticket home. These were recent, could their policy have changed? Not sure when your situation was. APIA supposedly sent one home this year for that but I heard that one through the AP grapevine…

DCBurbTwinMomma December 1, 2015 at 7:51 am

My recent knowledge with CCAP was that the au pair was told she would be sent home and was for a disorderly conduct (drunk in public, vomiting into bushes etc) situation. Perhaps the LLC didn’t report to corporate?

I voted to rematch because 1) she’s not being totally forthcoming, 2) she’s diminishing the seriousness by saying, “I wasn’t that drunk,” and 3) it’s a DUI. In my house we (like the OP) talk about this scenario. She knew better.


hOstCDmom December 1, 2015 at 8:55 am

Don’t know if policy changed; this was 15 mos ago. HQ did know about it- 100% sure of that; I informed them; LCC informed them; in writing.

Mimi December 1, 2015 at 9:03 am

Were they of legal drinking age?

Julie December 1, 2015 at 9:54 am

It’s true that CCAP has a zero tolerance policy on this. I’ve never heard of someone not being sent home (after sometimes painful/expensive court visits). I’m going to look into this one…

HMwithproblem December 1, 2015 at 10:24 am

This is OP. She is over the legal drinking age. Her license was taken by the state, of course, she cannot drive our car. I don’t know the BAC, but I know it’s high enough that a plea down to a lesser charge is off the table.

Returning HM December 1, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Just saw the added info that the BAC was so high no plea is possible. I’d be in rematch now – no question.

NoVA Twin Mom December 1, 2015 at 12:58 pm

HMwithproblem –

Make sure you TAKE HER KEYS. I used to work at a retail store that would cash checks. I could not believe the number of people that came in and would show me the receipt the cops gave them (when they took their license when they were pulled over for a DUI) as ID to have a check cashed. One time I asked how they got there since their license was taken away. They drove there, of course. Silly police don’t know what they’re doing! And besides, they weren’t that drunk. And they still know HOW to drive a car, even if they don’t have the license itself. The logic they’d try to use was mind boggling, but the fact remains that they were still driving.

Even though the police took away her license, she might still think she can drive. After all, they only took away the little piece of plastic, not her knowledge of how to drive. Especially if she still has her home country license – since in theory THAT one is still valid. If you don’t want her driving your car (which I 100% agree with!) TAKE HER KEYS away and keep them where she can’t get at them. And make sure there aren’t any spares where she can find them.

If she asks what to do “in an emergency” tell her to call 911.

NoVA Twin Mom December 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Just wanted to clarify that I don’t agree with the arguments made in my post above :) And I only took that “receipt” as ID under protest and when my boss initialed the check. Again, the idea that you can still drive once your license is suspended – no matter what your argument, no matter if you have a second license from another country – boggles the mind.

Former AP- now HM December 1, 2015 at 1:58 pm

I second taking her keys, but not necessarily because I wouldn’t trust her- she genuinely might not realise that surrendering her licence means she can’t continue to drive. Where I come from, we don’t carry our licences with us (I had a nasty shock in France when I discovered that I was supposed to do it there!). If you are stopped by the police, you have seven days to take your licence to the police station so that they can deal with it, but you’re still allowed to drive- for that to be suspended the case has to go to court and you have to lose your license (and have to go through all the faff of redoing the test- which most adults will fail, if they’ve been driving for several years). I don’t know where your AP is from, but she might be genuinely unaware that she can’t keep driving if she’d received a DUI, because in many countries that isn’t the case.

Returning HM November 30, 2015 at 10:55 am

I wish I could say absolutely rematch, but I don’t honestly know in the instance what I would do and therefore checked “other.” I say that because two summers ago, our AP drank and drove and crashed our car and then lied about it, and I still didn’t rematch…but that was because he had three weeks left with us, my husband’s appendix had just burst, I was about to switch jobs, and it was smack in the middle of swim championship time for our daughter…so, in other words, a perfect storm in our household where we really needed childcare.

What we did was to impose an 8pm curfew on the car and restricted driving to a fairly narrowly circumscribed area. I also had a hard time getting over the lying but did my best to push through it because it was for a short but needy time. Unfortunately, AP had another car accident later in the week (this time not drinking and in another of our cars) so we ended up terminating the match despite all the complications we were facing.

Surprisingly, his extension family didn’t care about the drinking and driving or the other accident and treated me, when I told them, as though I were over-reacting, so apparently not everyone cares about these kinds of things. But anyway, given this experience, I can’t say I would automatically rematch, but on the other hand, our AP, despite really damaging our car when he hit a tree, did not get cited for DUI, so there weren’t implications with the police or any potential for it to affect his visa.

And yes, I had discussed and written in our handbook similar language to what NoVA Twin Mom uses, and our AP’s English was perfect, so there were no misunderstandings. He just screwed up. I honestly feel sorry for him because he has to go through life knowing he massively messed up and now doesn’t have a relationship with a HF who otherwise would have kept in touch and celebrated him as a good, if not great, AP.

Pennsylvania AP Mom November 30, 2015 at 1:09 pm

I’m with CCAP and know of 2 separate AP’s who were cited for DUI. The 1st decided to leave the country (on her own dime) rather than deal with the legal repercussions, the 2nd dealt with the legal repercussions (several court dates, classes, community service, etc…) and was then sent home by CCAP. The way I understand it, any violation of the law automatically voids J1 visa so rematch is an eventuality even if the AP continues to work for you until they’re through the court process.

HMwithproblem November 30, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Oh, I didn’t even think about CCAP making a decision independently….This is probably why AP doesn’t want them to know. Of course, they would HAVE to know if rematch because it should be disclosed to possible families.

Dorsi November 30, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Inter exchange made me initial something that said I understand that a DUI means automatic ticket home for AP.

Immigration lawyer HM January 2, 2016 at 2:18 am

Getting charged with a crime, or even getting convicted, does NOT automatically invalidate J-1 status. However, the agency can opt to withdraw the DS-2019 and that invalidates status. Also, a criminal charge and especially a conviction can make it very hard to return to the US after departing.

Mimi November 30, 2015 at 1:54 pm

I voted other because I’m a need-to-know-the-circumstances person.

Assuming the DUI is for alcohol consumption by a legal age drinker…I know from personal experience that alcohol content is not the same in drinks across cultures. Although a beer overseas is usually stronger than one here, the variety of alcohol is going to be different and it’s pretty easy to underestimate what you can tolerate in circumstances outside your frame of reference. We stress to the APs that we will gladly come and get them (and anyone else) if they need a DD. I also share with them that my brother was killed by a drunk driver and that it’s a serious issue for us. If you haven’t discussed this with your AP, will they take a chance if they think they’re ok to drive or is calling your HP the bigger risk?

If the DUI is from other (legal) substances…HD gave AP#3 Nyquil when she was battling a cold and he neglected to tell her it would make her drowsy and she should only use it at night. She drove to the mall for Christmas shopping one evening and then called me because she couldn’t make it home and had pulled over in a commuter lot to nap until we got there. When we pulled in, there was a police officer questioning her and he would have arrested her and towed the car even though she wasn’t driving because she would have failed a sobriety check.

I realize that it’s hard for APs to go overseas and surrender some of their freedoms and although I don’t support the current drinking age for a number of reasons, we obey the law. I still tell the (underage) APs to call us if they need to (under any circumstances) and to be responsible.

As for illegal substances…rematch.

hOstCDmom November 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm

For this very reason and because we believe that any alcohol impairs one’s driving ability, we have a NO ALCOHOL and driving policy. If you are drinking, you are not driving. If you are driving, you are not drinking. As in zero alcohol.

And yes, we as HP model exactly this, for both our APs and our 6 kids (3 of whom are teenagers). We have the same policy for our driving teens (who shouldn’t be drinking anyway! but we have the “if you drink despite it not being legal, never, ever, never compound it by then also driving”. I would rather deal with an underage drinking citation, or a vomiting teen, than a teen who kills someone and/or dies because they drank AND drove)

German Au-Pair December 1, 2015 at 11:27 pm

HOLY cow! This NEVER would have occured to me.

I think drinking ANYTHING and driving is stupid. I occasionally do it when I meet a friend who lives a small untravelled road away from my place and I will be driving hours after having the drink (so definitely no impairment) but those are special circumstances. The thing is, it doesn’t matter if you feel impared or not -if something happens and you test positive, good luck not being the bad guy. Risking that in another country is even more stupid.

The part about the pills is shocking to me though. The fact that she would have been arrested while she was in the turned off car is scary and disturbing. She was being resonsible. I also know that other countries’ drugs can have super disturbing effects on you. I once had felt terrible for over a week -sort of dizzy, but not bad enough not to drive…it just took much more focus that regularly and was therefore much more exhausting- when I found out I actually wasn’t able to keep my eyes focussed anymore and the exhaustion was due to rapid eye movement to keep my vision sharp. I stopped taking my over-the-counter cough medicine and it immediately stopped. Not the first and not the last time I had strange, unexpected reactions to American medicine (talk about halucinations after pain meds….)
So this MAY actually be an issue. It’s likely alcohol though, so clearly rematch.

AlwaysHopeful HM November 30, 2015 at 2:07 pm

I voted rematch because the post noted that this was not a superstar au pair. For a superstar, I might impose significant restrictions on car use instead of rematching, if it fit our needs. If the au pair is not a superstar, why bother going through the hassle of trying to make it work?

AuPair Paris November 30, 2015 at 2:51 pm

DUI is unacceptable. Full stop. Rematch.

Should be working November 30, 2015 at 3:09 pm

I voted rematch, but yeah, I guess I can imagine situations where I wouldn’t. First, the AP would have to be VERY good, and the OP’s quote says “good but not great”. Second I would have to feel like the AP was really, really getting it and accepted resulting restrictions. But I would hate it if I kept her/him and would always worry, so probably I would end up in rematch anyway.

Boy Au Pair Spain November 30, 2015 at 3:51 pm

I just wanted to point out that in the UK, and the USA I assume, we generally have the opinion that people that drink and drive are reckless and stupid. This is not a global view though however. In Spain, if you DON’T drink and drive you are the strange one. Turning down alcohol because you are driving, from someone who is also driving, is very difficult. If she is from a country such as Spain she may see rematching as quite an extreme reaction. I think I would rematch for the reasons of it being such a serious crime in the USA. However, I have to recognise that the DUI has no baring whatsoever on someones ability to care for children.

Mimi November 30, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Caring for children requires making decisions that impact their health and safety, so using bad judgment or lacking common sense that results in a DUI definitely has a bearing on your ability to care for children, especially if it is a pattern.

Boy Au Pair Spain November 30, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Assuming she isn’t familiar with what a serious crime it is in the USA, I don’t believe that drink driving suggests that someone is reckless or stupid. Having lived in a country where drink driving is the norm I can tell you that the fact that someone drink drives is not a indicator of whether someone has good or bad judgement in other areas of their life. I have worked with many teachers, for example, that are certainly not irresponsible with children. In Spain, it is not so uncommon to drink alcohol at lunch time either in schools (between classes!). Different cultures have different attitudes towards alcohol.

In the end we are all ethnocentric in how we see things like this . I imagine if an au pair was to go to a country in which no one ever went over the speed limit, she would be judged as reckless and unable to care for kids too.

I think there is something to be said for American (and I think most of the English speaking world) culture and the self-deterministic attitude to everything: there is no such thing as a mistake but rather the person makes a series of bad choices, that were fully in their control, and that such choices make them a bad person.

Rural host mom November 30, 2015 at 5:50 pm

Most people don’t get pulled over for the average DUI. Your erratic driving attracts attention. And, ignorance do the law is not a defense. I’m pretty sure this is one of the few things that agencies cover fairly well.

HRHM November 30, 2015 at 6:05 pm

APs are told in no uncertain terms during training that they may NOT have a single drink and get behind the wheel or they will be sent home if caught. If she did it, she either slept through training or made the active decision to ignore the warning she got in advance. Seems like poor judgement and decision making to me…

Dorsi November 30, 2015 at 6:09 pm

In fact, Spain has harsher penalties and lower limits than the US (0.05%). British folk get arrested all the time in Spain for drinking and driving. People in Scandinavia have beer with lunch, but they don’t get behind the wheel afterward. Drinking culture is not the same as drinking and driving culture.

Boy Au Pair Spain November 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm

You would have to be extremely drunk for it to be considered an actual crime in Spain (alcohol level of 1.5g/l). Less than that and there is 0% chance of jail time and it has virtually no way of effecting any employment prospects and a revoking a visa would not be considered. Fines are pretty steep but it doesn´t seem enough to deter anyone. You also get points on your licence but these regenerate over time so it is impossible to lose your licence unless you have already committed many other driving offences. It is more about the culture though. It is strange to not drink at a party just because you have to drive home. When I say this, I am not just talking about people on crazy nights out. The most common example that comes to mind was at a party that was mostly parents of young children at midday.

American Host Mom in Europe December 2, 2015 at 8:22 am

And just to clarify — the beer offered with lunch commonly in Scandinavia is “light beer” — which here means light alcohol, rather than light calories — normally it is 2% at most.

Seattle Mom December 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm

I’ve heard that up until about 15 years ago drunk driving was completely acceptable behavior in South Africa. It’s still nowhere near the US, but at least now there have been a lot of campaigns to end it and people are aware that it’s something that should be avoided. So I get where you’re coming from.

That said, all US APs go through training and the rules on drinking & driving are explicitly stated by the agencies. So even if you don’t believe that it’s an inherently reckless activity, it is reckless in the sense that it could easily get you kicked out of the country.

I voted for rematch. Though I can imagine some circumstances under which I might consider not rematching for a DUI.

HRHM November 30, 2015 at 3:52 pm

It’s important to note that it’s not up to you in reality. If she is charged with a DUI and either doesn’t fight it or fights it and loses, she will no longer be eligible for her visa and will be sent home. Period.

All you are doing at this point, is deciding whether you will keep her illegally, keep her until she becomes illegal, or tell the LCC and get the process moving. It’s like asking if you should keep a pregnant AP. If you do, you’re breaking the law and breaking your contract with your agency.

WestMom November 30, 2015 at 4:53 pm

I was going to say the same. A colleague of mine just told me her APs 19yr old bestie was just sent home last month on DUI. This is not up to us. The agency is sending her little tush right back home.

WestMom November 30, 2015 at 4:56 pm

I’ll add that this is with APIA, and the parents actually wanted to keep the AP after all this (according to the AP friend who told her HM who is my colleague… you know how these things go, right?).

TexasHM November 30, 2015 at 7:59 pm

I voted rematch because again, we have a zero tolerance policy and we disclose in matching and review/sign on arrival, plus our agency is zero tolerance. There’s a big difference too between having one beer and driving later and getting a DUI. What a nightmare. Sorry you are going through this. She needs to tell the agency, period. Or you will. Today. You both need to start dealing with all this and LC needs to run point not you. Thank goodness no one was hurt.

AuPair in The Netherlands November 30, 2015 at 9:03 pm

I voted for an automatic rematch. I think it was extremely disrespectful and irresponsible for the au pair to drink and drive and I can not honestly think of a good excuse for the au pair to have for this. This is not ok and very dangerous and the aupair knew it was not ok and very dangerous so for me if I was the host family it would be a no brainer.

Taking a Computer Lunch November 30, 2015 at 10:42 pm

AP #8 drove head-first into the side of a Hummer on her 19th birthday. Alcohol was not a factor. She was an AP who had absolutely no common sense (and my LCC warned me that she wasn’t going to learn it in the year she lived with us – and the AP proved her right – up to the last week!). We imposed a 10 PM curfew on the car (therefore she wouldn’t be driving it when too tired) – the only AP to earn a car curfew in the 14+ years we’ve been hosting!!!

We were stung by our car insurance. We were blind-sided. The damage to the AP car was repaired, but three months later we felt like we, the HP, had been side-swiped. We’re now on AP #12 and we’re still feeling the repercussions – and frankly, so have APs 9-12!! Our car insurance now mandates that every AP we host have a state license within weeks of her arrival (no matter that our state does not require it for the first year). I now warn every AP before she matches with us. The Camel requires a driver so there is no give on this point.

We are still paying higher premiums 5 years later. No matter that APs 9-12 have not caused a scratch!

OP. Your AP has a DUI. The best thing you can do, from the point of view of your insurance company, is go into rematch. Because you’re already marked. You’ve stated you’ve warned this woman. The first thing you need to do, is take away her driving privileges, not because you don’t trust her (although the line between not-that-drunk and drunk was lost on her), but because you’re about to be screwed by your car insurance. In fact, right now, put the blame on them. “My car insurance has contacted me, and we cannot permit you to drive the cars. At all.” (It might feel like lying now, but it won’t in a few weeks. Believe me.) Then, call your LCC and invoke rematch

Sure, no HF wants to introduce an AP into the tension of December. Sure you have enough on your platter without adding AP training – but really, there’s a great AP out there who will read your handbook and believe you when you say “Don’t drive drunk!”

And okay, DH convinced me not to rematch with AP #8 (although by the end of her year he wished he hadn’t). If you decide that she’s really worth keeping, then take away all non-kid-related car-driving privileges. For the rest of her year. If she doesn’t have a state license now, my guess is that your insurance will require it of her, so you might as well be pro-active and require it. Make that your condition not to go into rematch. Now!

hOstCDmom November 30, 2015 at 11:45 pm

Forget car insurance– you have a bigger risk: LIABILITY. You are now on notice that your employee drinks and drives; and got a DUI. When she hits and maims or kills someone the next time she drinks and drives you will be in the position of having knowingly permitted her to drive your car, on your insurance, despite her DUI. Those are not good facts if you are sued. Compared to the AP you are the deep pocket– so you will be sued, not she. I have posted on this site before about someone in my town whose AP was driving the HP car; had moderate accident; at fault; NO ONE KILLED OR PARALYZED; but the HP were sued by the victims. The suit lasted at least 7 years. AP went back to her country; HP are still in court. Don’t risk being sued and potentially financially devastated in order to keep this AP.

calihostmom December 1, 2015 at 12:51 am

Our au pair got into an accident (sober) and then, because she was freaked out, left the scene without stopping. She walked in crying and told me this, and all I could think was, “Well, you’re getting deported for hit and run.” Luckily, we were able to get in touch with the other driver and there were no legal repercussions. But this put the fear of God into us with regard to our liability. We made our au pair take a fresh set of driving lessons, get her US license (not required in our state), and put limits on her use of the car — which she resented, to my great surprise.

The bottom line is that we never felt completely confident in her driving abilities again, as long as she was with us.

If there had been alcohol involved, that would have been the end. Immediately. If someone can’t look after themselves, their future, and my property — not to mention the lives and wellbeing of other people on the road! — no way are they looking after my child.

DarthaStewart December 1, 2015 at 7:42 am

Rematch. No question.

Anon for this one December 1, 2015 at 8:56 am

Before it happened to me, I would vote “rematch”. But……

Our au pair totaled our car this fall. She had been drinking and got DUI citation. The insurance company determined the accident was her fault.

The agency wanted to send her home immediately. They said she signed a contract before being an au pair where she promised not to drink and drive, and she was in the breach of her contract.

But…. She is a stellar au pair. She is mature. This was a one time mistake, albeit awful. She was off duty, alone in the car. She usually doesn’t drink when she goes out, she is not a “party girl” at all (and I know one, I had a “party girl” before her). She is a churchgoing and a very responsible woman.

I begged the agency to let her stay, on the condition that she won’t drive anymore. They let us. She is staying and she is extending with us for 6 months. As part of what she has to do for her court case, she is going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and classes two to three times a week (I think she needs to do at least 26 weeks of meetings plus accompanying classes or something like that, it is a large commitment). She is paying for those classes. I don’t give her rides, she is using cabs or friends’ rides… She is keeping her happy attitude despite huge inconvenience of not being able to drive.

Granted, if this incident happened a few months into her stay with us, I may have rematched. But it happened when she was with us for 8 months already, and I felt I knew her well.

Dorsi December 1, 2015 at 11:23 am

Thank you for sharing this. It is easy to take the moral high ground when we haven’t been in the position of losing an excellent child care provider.

TexasHM December 1, 2015 at 3:21 pm

This brings up a good point which is – do you need her to drive? If you do (like us) then the answer is likely regardless of what the agency decides to do, you have to rematch to get someone that can fulfill their duties. Now that ours are school aged if AP couldn’t drive we might as well not host because that’s the majority of her duties. However, if you had a rockstar AP and if they made an out of character shocking one time bad decision and if you could get by without a driver then maybe….but that’s a lot of IFs!!!

NBHostMom December 1, 2015 at 10:40 am

For me: DUI = rematch, no questions asked.

We are fairly liberal. I don’t care if our under age au pairs drink (they’ve been drinking at home for years). I don’t care when they come home at night. We’ve allowed opposite sex sleepovers. We’ve allowed mini parties hosted by APs In our home while we’re on vacation. BUT all the freedoms come with the warning: we expect accountability and excellent decision making. My logic always follows this: if you’re looking after my kids, I will expect you can look after yourself as a responsible adult.

Our au pairs explicitly get told in writing and verbally (repeatability) they may not drive after drinking. So much as a sip of beer = no driving. No exceptions. We’ve been lucky never to have this issue, but for me, DUI is a deal breaker.

anonmom December 1, 2015 at 10:52 am

I agree with the other posters regarding rematch. Do it immediately- you are already on notice heaven forbid she gets into another accident. You may also feel the sting of many years of inflated car insurance rates (at least in my state you would, especially if the driver was under 21). Hopefully, since there was no accident, your insurance won’t be affected. But the fact that she wants you to not tell the LCC speaks volumes about how she knows what she did was wrong. Most of the au pairs’ and their friends would never drink, not even one glass of wine, with us if they knew they would be driving. Since the host mom already had the talk with her AP about calling her anytime of day or night, there really is no excuse. Yes, AP’s are human, and mistakes will be made, but the AP is also here for a job! In my state, with the DUI you can risk having the car forfeited and, after conviction, the car would have to have a breath machine installed to operate the vehicle at your expense. Rematch, get it done now, so you can start the process because she will be terminated from the program, she is in violation of her visa. This is a steep learning lesson for the AP- there are consequences to their deicisions, she has no one to blame but herself. Good luck.

NJ Mom December 1, 2015 at 5:33 pm

I voted “yes” because driving is a necessity where we live. Also we have a strict no driving our car if you will be drinking. If you find yourself in a situation, call us to pick you up, etc.

However if you don’t need the AP to drive as part of her duties, I would say take away the car period. And she needs to pay for and find her own transportation for meetings and classes. If that causes the AP to initiate a re-match, then so be it.

New to This December 4, 2015 at 10:42 am

Requiring the AP to cover her own transportation costs for meetings and classes would be a violation of our agency rules (CCAP). Even if it were justifiable under the circumstances, and part of an overall extremely lenient response to the situation in question, I might worry it would mean trouble for the HPs if the au pair did decide to complain or rematch. And of course, with the au pair seeking to avoid agency involvement, it’s not like the HPs can cover themselves by clearing the arrangement with the LCC up-front…

Bat Mum December 2, 2015 at 5:06 am

If I found out my aupair drove after having a drink even if she wasn’t caught by the police she would be out the door in a heartbeat. Firstly for breaking an important rule of the house and the law of the land, and secondly for showing such a blatant disregard for her own and others safety and for your property. I don’t want some one so silly and thoughtless minding my kids.
I would not care if she is a stellar aupair or if she comes from a culture of drink driving. There is no excuse for that behaviour. I am no saint and I did criminally stupid stuff myself when I was that age. But I knew it was wrong and stupid.
As an aside, there is a massive drink culture in my country and I have lived in other countries with serious alcohol issues but I have never found the culture of drink driving so commonly accepted there as it is in the US which has some of the strictest laws going.

oranje_mama December 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Definitely rematch.

And we are a quite liberal family. We are know to allow our (underage) AP and AP friends to have wine or beer with us *if* they are not driving. We are zero tolerance when it comes to alcohol and driving and we make that crystal clear.

In 4 years of hosting APs, we’ve had one alcohol-related incident that affected AP’s performance. AP (underage) was not driving. She went out and got so drunk that she (1) lost her iPhone – provided by us, and (2) overslept on a school day and was clearly hungover/suffering in the morning. We sat her down and were super clear. This was a mistake that was not to be repeated. No “warnings” after this. She needs to keep track of the iPhone (left in an uber, luckily recovered) and be upstairs sufficiently rested in time for work. No exceptions. On that condition, we allowed her to continue to work for us, and we have had no more incidents like this.

If she had been driving, it would be have been rematch.

Should be working December 3, 2015 at 2:29 pm

We also offer alcohol, in moderation (like one glass of wine) and ONLY if the AP is for sure not driving anywhere, to our underage APs. I don’t think that’s illegal, but maybe it is?

Dorsi December 3, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Pretty sure it is illegal, unless they are your children. In the eyes of the law, how is it different than hosting a party for your kids and their high school friends (definitely illegal). We’ve done it with our own Au pair, but I would not knowingly give alcohol to an underage Au pair.

New to This December 4, 2015 at 11:18 am

This is one of the reasons I didn’t look at under-21 au pairs — I’m not at all comfortable with the US’s alcohol laws for the 18-21 set, and didn’t like want to have to deal with them on a day-to-day basis. If I’m asking someone to function as an adult member of my household, I dislike the idea of imposing an age-based exclusion from privileges that the other adults enjoy — but I dislike running afoul of the law over it, too.

WestMom December 7, 2015 at 7:52 pm

I feel the same way. We only interview 21+. Our youngest was 20, and turned 21 two weeks after her arrival. I don’t wan’t want to be the alcohol police.

Mimi December 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm

It depends on what state you live in.

dorsi December 4, 2015 at 3:55 pm

It may be legal to give your child alcohol in your home, depending on the state. I am pretty certain it is always illegal to give an unrelated minor alcohol, regardless of the state.

Mimi December 4, 2015 at 4:40 pm

There are 8 general exceptions to the minimim drinking age law, one of which is alcohol consumption allowed in private, non alcohol-selling premises, without parental consent. It is allowed in several states (Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina).

HMwithproblem December 4, 2015 at 11:03 am

Hi, this is OP again with an updated. We decided to rematch. Of course, that is kind of a misnomer; we wouldn’t even consider not filling in the agency. And when we did, the Agency said that this AP could not go to another family. They said that she could stay with us and that was her only option, that or go home. They also told us it would be expensive for her if we didn’t continue… It was hard.

However, I didn’t mention it in the original post, but there had been another issue a few months ago where our oldest more or less claimed AP neglected the baby and left her (older child) to totally care for the baby whenever our older child wasn’t in school. At the time, we thought this was exaggeration and just asked the AP to be more engaged. Honestly, I still think there is a good change AP did nothing wrong back then… but there were a LOT of lies around the DUI and as hard as I try I can’t bring myself to trust her really. Plus, her not being able to drive would really push a lot of work onto us.

I really appreciate each and every one of you for taking the time to weigh in. I think that in a lot of ways I’d known all along what we needed to do. But, I felt sooo guilty. I still feel guilty, but this has helped me see that I’m not the only one who would make this choice.

So, we decided to withdraw from the program and go with another form of childcare. The Agency said we need her to stay with us for another two weeks as long as we don’t think she endangers our kids (which she doesn’t.) We don’t have to pay her unless she works and I can’t bring myself to leave the kids with her so she won’t. I think it will be a hard two weeks for everyone, but we’ll all get through it. I’m sure the Agency is right and this will cost her a lot of money, but it will cost us a lot of money too.

New to This December 4, 2015 at 11:41 am

It sounds like you’ve given this a lot of thought, and are handling it in a very reasonable way. With the lying, law-breaking, and now whatever stress/resentment this resolution adds, I might be tempted in your place to go ahead and call her presence in the household a danger to the kids — maybe not a particular likelihood of violence, but modeling dangerous behavior can be its own kind of hazard, and I could see a risk of emotionally abusive dynamics arising, too. So I think you’re being high-minded and generous here. Also, the part where going home early is expensive for her is primarily a consequence of agency policy on early departures, not of your decision — it seems really unfair for the agency to be laying a guilt trip on you about it.

Good luck finding a great rematch AP!

Mimi December 4, 2015 at 1:01 pm

You have to make the decision that’s best for your family. All of this is a consequence of her actions and you have nothing to feel guilty about. Odds are that she will appreciate this learning experience (not for a while though). While it’s not easy housing a transition AP who’s not working, it’s doable. Set firm boundaries and don’t get sucked into any drama or guilt. If you feel up to talking with her about it/if she brings it up, see if you can’t impart some wisdom about honesty in these situations and give her some insight into what might have changed the situation for you. That gives her the opportunity to learn from this mistake. Accept that she may be mopey and that it’s a natural manifestation of her coping with the present situation and has nothing to do with you.

Sorry to hear you’re leaving the program. Best luck with the next few weeks and moving forward.

Should be working December 4, 2015 at 2:13 pm

TODAY and NOW give her a list of what she needs to do before she leaves. This includes cleaning up her room, giving back keys/phone/library cards/insurance cards etc, closing her bank account, and so on. If she has a debit card related to your accounts (we have an AP debit card on our account), cancel it!

A departing AP can leave a lot of pickup/cleanup behind, so think ahead.

NoVA Twin Mom December 4, 2015 at 2:20 pm

The agency says she needs to stay for another two weeks? Unless they’re keeping her around for a court date, if they’re not letting her rematch into another family she should only have to stay until she can get a flight home. Ask about this because she might not need to stay for two weeks.

And we had an au pair who *was* allowed to rematch into another family even though I felt my kids were unsafe with her. We moved the kids 500 miles away to my parents house, but the au pair was with me and my husband until she rematched and moved to the new family. In retrospect I should have had her moved to the LCC’s house and paid the “rent” or whatever we have to pay to make that happen. She was not only mopey until she found the new family, but BORED because she wasn’t working. Ugh… I refer to that as her all-expenses paid vacation in the US. When the new family asked if she could stay with US for a couple of extra days until it would be more convenient for them to take her, I said absolutely not. I’d had it with her – she was in my house but my kids weren’t, and it was her fault!

I’m saying that to warn you that you’re going to be fed up with all of this by the time she leaves. Seriously ask your LCC about your options with regard to housing her at the LCC’s house and exactly how long she needs to stay. Depending where she needs to return to, of course, she should be able to get a ticket home within a couple of days – though she will need to pay a LOT for that. The cost of the ticket and the money she’s losing aren’t your problem, though.

HRHM December 4, 2015 at 3:49 pm

I was going to say the same thing. There is no reason that a AP that is being sent home needs to stay with you for 2 weeks. That is for APs in rematch who need time to find a new family. When my AP got sent home for stealing from us, she went to the LCC on Sunday (was caught on Saturday) and was on a plane home to Bosnia on Tuesday. The tickets are no cheaper 14 days out than they are 3 days out. The fare goes down at 21 days out but she can only stay in the US 14 days per SD rules.

If it was me (especially since you aren’t in need of currying favor with the agency or LCC), I’d let them know she needs to be out today.

AuPair Paris December 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm

It sucks that she has a lot of expenses now, but what she did could have killed someone… I am pretty easygoing about mistakes. There are lots of thinks I don’t think are big deals, that I know APs do, but honestly, a car can be such a dangerous weapon – you need to be responsible in order to handle it, and drinking and driving simply isn’t.

(Have I ever recounted here the incident where my former host parents tried to drive me and their kids home after an apéro where they’d downed the best part of two bottles of wine each… It was in the same village, so I told them no way and walked home – where they arrived without any incident… But cultural differences or not, something so dangerous is not responsible or ok.)

Also the story with your eldest… Is lying something she’s known for? I ask because it took me a long while to bond with my eldest HK, and I think she complained about me a lot in the first year (we’re close now)… But she exaggerated things I’d done, she never lied. She might say that I “wouldn’t let her do her homework”, when I’d actually just intervened in a physical fight she’d started with her sibling who was “distracting her” by doing her piano practice… When questioned, she always described the incident as it happened – albeit with her own spin. Something like “I was ONLY trying to get C to stop playing the piano while I was WORKING and AuPair Paris said…”.

What I’m getting at is, if your daughter doesn’t have an issue with lying in general, usually you can get to the real story with a bit of “give me an example”ing. If she stuck to her story, it sounds like AP hasn’t been fulfilling her responsibilities at all…

HMwithproblem December 4, 2015 at 3:53 pm

I can say with a lot of confidence that the child was not lying. I think it could be that the child was blowing it out of proportion in an emotional, age appropriate way. She loves her sibling and is very protective. However, it’s also possible that we gave the AP too much credit in interpreting things that way. At this point, I don’t think it serves anyone very well to dig into it too much and I think we’ll focus a lot more on just trying to make sure that the new childcare works out ok. I don’t think we’ll consider going back to the AP program for a very long time… if ever. So, for us I guess it’s a mute point. For others, I imagine it’s a tough question, when to take what the kids say at face value and when not to. But, I imagine there have already been posts about that. :)

AuPair Paris December 4, 2015 at 4:52 pm

Yeah. I don’t know. I tend to *mostly* trust what kids say. I mean, not if you ask them a direct yes/no like “your sister says you hit her. Is that true?” or “did you eat the chocolate without asking?” But if they complain about something unprompted, I think there’s usually something in it, even if it’s exaggerated… And a few questions can get to it.

But you’re probably right that there’s no point in digging further now your decision has been made.

Boy Au Pair Spain December 4, 2015 at 5:29 pm

I am a little suprised by how many people want her out with 24 hours notice. If I were in the USA and I were fired, and the agency wouldnt pay for me to go back I am not sure what I would do. My parents wouldnt be able to come up with the money. They dont have savings and I very much doubt that the agency advices au pairs that they need to have enough savings for this eventuality. I would need some time to sort out how I was going to find my way home.

Some people here are saying that it should almost be taken for granted that there is no duty towards an au pair that you have fired. Legally of course there isnt but morally.. At least there is the question. Au pairs tend to be young woman that are in many ways treated as having the maturity of a minor (handbooks with details instructions, discussions on ‘punishments’ for au pairs, how best to teach them life lessons etc). They also seem to often come from relatively poor families. To say if they do something wrong you should wash your hands of them without a second thought comes across as callous – speaking from the viewpoint of an au pair.

In this case, the au pair has made a giant mistake and you can understand why the mother wants to fire her. However she hasnt suddenly become this revolting evil person for this mistake. She is still the young woman that was welcome into the family; still just as vulnerable and in need of help than when she arrived – or more so! So I think the fact that a mother says she feels responsible for this young person 1000s of miles from home is not such an obviously wrong thing to feel. I am not even going to comment on the response saying thst she might emotionally abuse the child by being a poor role model for 2 more weeks.

hOstCDmom December 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm

In the US there is always the “backup plan B” of the Agency Rep – the so called “LCC” – housing the au pair in lieu of the family doing so. This is actually one of the benefits for which the HP pay $8000 in agency fees, and on which the APs can also rely. So being out of the HF house ASAP, does *NOT* mean being put out on the street. It means going to live with the LCC (who per their work arrangements with the agency must have space to house APs in emergency situations) until either the AP rematches, or is booked on a flight home.

Boy Au Pair Spain December 5, 2015 at 7:20 am

That is a huge amount in agency fees. Is it not cheaper to pay a local (qualified) nanny to care for your children full time as a live out? As a student in the UK I lived off around that amount per year…

I take it back then. I dont understand why the au pair is still with the family. Surely she would prefer to move out too.. I can understand why the LCC would be against that idea though!!

Mimi December 5, 2015 at 8:04 am

Depending on where you live in the US, nannies can be far more expensive.

hOstCDmom December 5, 2015 at 10:48 am

Where I live in the US a full time, qualified, live out nanny for 2-3 children would cost the family about $60,000/year, if done legally ( this would be the cost to the family including federal and state taxes, workers comp and health insurance etc. the nanny would net ~$48,000.)

An Au Pair costs ~ $22,000/year ( agency + AP stipend + car insurance etc.)

Mimi December 5, 2015 at 10:57 am

Rural New England is slightly less than this.

Boy Au Pair Spain December 5, 2015 at 11:14 am

Waw that is more or less double the base salary of a fully qualified doctor here. I guess cost of living is much more though.

New to This December 5, 2015 at 2:24 pm

We didn’t choose an au pair over a nanny for financial reasons, and I don’t actually know how the cost would compare for what we need. I feel like nannying is not a great job, to be honest, when you factor in income, social status, advancement prospects, and so on. Obviously an au pair isn’t making a lot of money either, but for ours, it’s a stepping stone to other career goals (her priority for the year is to become fluent in English), and while she’s with us, she’s sharing in our lifestyle, which I like to think is pretty comfortable, much more fully than a household employee ordinarily would. I also know that child care is a job in which you end up heavily emotionally invested, and if I’m asking someone to get attached to my kid, I want to be relating to that person as more than just an employee, too, so that they’re getting the same genuine interest in their well-being from me that they’re providing to my kid. Ideally, paying the stipend is just one piece of the bigger picture of being committed to making sure they have whatever they need for a great year. An au pair feels to me like a much better fit for that kind of relationship than a professional nanny would be.

New to This December 5, 2015 at 2:28 am

To be clear, I didn’t say that being a poor role model was a form of emotional abuse; I said they were two separate risks. Someone with a track record of lying is not necessarily beyond other forms of emotional manipulation, and an au pair’s impending departure can put kids in a place where they’re especially vulnerable to that person. Should the au pair want to try to hang on to her position, and attempt to use the kids to that end, it could get ugly fast.

Also note that I didn’t say the OP *should* send the AP to stay with the LCC’s house (not out on the street; the agency makes sure that doesn’t happen in the US) for those reasons, only that she probably could, and that someone less generous in her position (myself potentially included) possibly might. As I indicated, I think it’s admirable that the HM is taking a high-minded approach, and she should give herself credit for doing more than the bare minimum to facilitate the au pair’s transition. Do you disagree?

On another point you make above, I hardly think that having a detailed handbook constitutes treating someone like a child. Here in the US, adult professionals routinely have handbooks issued by their employers that are far lengthier than anything I’ve heard of an au pair receiving, and residential lease agreements can be rather extensive as well. In general, formalizing expectations that way goes hand-in-hand in this culture with treating someone as an adult, in contrast with the “Just do what I say when I say it, and always ask me before doing anything” attitude kids often get from authority figures. Handbooks also function as how-to manuals for things around the house (the whole point being to let the AP function more independently in the household from day one than a mere houseguest would) and neighborhood guidebooks (similar to what many hotels provide — again, reflecting the expectation that the AP will want to get out and explore without continuous hand- holding).

Old China Hand December 5, 2015 at 7:33 pm

Our aps have been very happy with my detailed handbook and daily note exchanging page. They don’t think it is treating them like a child. It’s a training manual, which any job has in some form.

NoVA Twin Mom December 5, 2015 at 11:56 am

Boy Au Pair Spain – Actually, the agency DOES advise the au pairs to save money in case they need to buy a ticket home. Our LCC (area supervisor) tells them as well. I don’t think the au pairs listen very often, though.

Remember, this is the same group that often tells host parents they need to be more patient with au pairs. If you haven’t read the archives, you should. Remember too that our program is different in many ways than what happens in Europe and other places.

In this very specific circumstance, where the actions that are causing the au pair to be sent home are very much her fault and completely under her control, we are saying that rather than having an angry, uncooperative former au pair living with them for two weeks when they aren’t rematching, Instead, the au pair could stay with the LCC, who is not emotionally invested in what happened. Chances are, staying with the LCC will also be much more pleasant for the au pair, since the LCC is less angry about what happened.

Taking a Computer Lunch December 4, 2015 at 11:39 pm

I know you feel guilty, but you are not the one who got behind the wheel of a car intoxicated! By your accounts this AP has done her job barely well enough for you to feel a tinge of remorse, but badly enough that you’re walking away from the AP program. I don’t know what agency you are with, but APIA gives families in rematch a separation worksheet – you pay the AP for vacation time she’s earned but has not yet taken, you deduct from her final pay vacation she’s taken but not yet earned.

You are very generous to house her until she flies home. Do ask your LCC for advice on ground rules (obviously, driving your care is completely out of the question. Personally, I’d be taking the car keys with me to work, but that’s because I have teenagers who go to school all day and not an infant. If you’re stuck home until you come up with Plan B, then you will be able to watch car use.

Do expect that her mediocre behavior will decline markedly. Anyone who’s hosted an AP experiences short-timer’s syndrome. My guess is that you will have an AP who is angry at you because she is going home (typical immature reaction) – hence my advice to ask the LCC her advice for some ground rules to which you and the AP should agree. (Personally, I would say that if she finds herself staying out past midnight then she should sleep somewhere else – no need to have a non-working young adult waking you up in the middle of the night because she no longer has responsibilities). My other rule would be absolutely no guests in your house unless you or DH is home! (If one of you isn’t going to be at home to care for the baby, then ask your neighbors to keep an eye out!) You make up the rules. If she doesn’t like them, then she should find another host to house her until she catches her flight home.

On the other hand, I personally think it’s okay to be tempted to take the high road and offer a special goodbye dinner (no presents!) and to drive her to the airport. I would for an AP who had been a reasonable family member (albeit one who had no common sense). That’s okay. It’s also not a requirement, nor should you feel guilty for not doing it.

Decide what’s best for your family. Put it in writing. Make her sign it that she understands. (When I have hosted AP’s who needed constant “reset your attitude conversations, I also emailed the instructions to the AP and copied the LCC so there would be a paper trail.)

And as someone who loves to drink – I can count the number of times I have driven after two drinks on one hand. I have never driven after 3 – even after several hours. I just don’t do it. I have no tolerance for people who think they can. Don’t feel guilty about going into rematch. This young woman obviously has no consideration for the lives of the people around her – and she’s proven it! She earned the fast ticket home all on her own. It was not your doing!

Boy Au Pair Spain December 5, 2015 at 7:15 am

Your comment is interesting because in many countries driving after two drinks would be illegal. I am not so sure of the rational behind 2 drinks = responsible person but 3 drinks = someone that doesnt care about the lives of others. 2 drinks can impair your reaction time and judgement. 3 more so. The OP shouldnt feel guilty about her decision but I dont think that there is a need to unjustly vilify the au pair to allay the guilt.

Mimi December 5, 2015 at 8:17 am

Please read a little more carefully because that is not what TACL has written. She has indicated she hardly ever has driven after 2 drinks and can count those occasions on one hand which is an expression meaning very few. As TACL has teenaged children, she is old enough for that to mean only on the rarest occasions has she driven after 2 drinks.

Boy Au Pair Spain December 5, 2015 at 9:07 am

Yes. On the information we have they have both hardly ever, rarely, driven after drinking. The difference was in the quantity. Morally it is important that TACL didnt drink so much as to put herself over the limit but really it is not right to assume that the au pair values human life less than TACL.

Taking a Computer Lunch December 6, 2015 at 11:39 pm

Sorry, I didn’t specify. When I go to a party and I know I’m driving, it is usually no drinking or one drink. If I end up having two drinks, then I don’t drive until two hours have passed and I have consumed both a little food and a liter of water. My preference, however, is no alcohol whatsoever, because I know my limits. There have been times, however, when DH had intended to drive home, and for other reasons, could not. I weigh enough that 2 drinks would probably not make me DUI, much less DWI – but I agree, that doesn’t mean I should drive. So I don’t.

The AP received a citation. That means she had consumed enough alcohol to draw the attention of the police while driving. The HM is not the guilty party and it is no injustice to vilify someone who flagrantly broke the law! The fact that she wanted her HM not to reveal the ticket to the agency, tells me that she knew she had crossed a line, but didn’t want to pay the consequences. And yes, Boy Au Pair Spain, I think she was lucky that no one else got in the way of her good time. There are plenty of options – there’s no excuse to get behind the wheel of a car when one is drunk!

Boy Au Pair Spain December 7, 2015 at 4:01 pm

I didn’t intend to make it personally. My point is that even a little alcohol would be illegal in under some jurisdictions but you would not be making assumptions on whether that person is so subhuman as to not consider the lives of those around them. If someone has ever sped; drunk even a little before driving; answered the phone while driving; allowed themselves to be distracted by the kids and continued driving instead of pulling over to deal with them etc… these people are putting other road users at greater risk than they would otherwise but yet you wouldn’t assume that they do not care about whether others die or not. They have instead made an error of judgement and not directly their minds to the question of other people lives.

There are a many things that I like about American culture but this clear divide in many peoples minds between who are the good guys and who are the bad guys is not one of them is the least charming!

HMwithproblem December 7, 2015 at 6:10 pm

OP again. Let me be clear. I did not make this decision because I think the AP in question is a bad person and I clearly never called her “subhuman” in any way. I also think it’s unfair to claim that it’s somehow closed minded to view some behavior as more risky than other. Sure, going 40 in a 35 zone is a risk and probably a mistake. I don’t think it’s on the same level as having 4 drinks and driving a car. It certainly does not create anything close to the same level of legal problems. That is why when AP got such a ticket, even with my kids in the car, I simply asked her to watch the speed limit. I hardly think she’s a “bad guy.” But, it doesn’t seem to me to be that big a jump to say that she wasn’t thinking about the risks at the moment she made the decision. Had she been carefully weighing these risks, I think she likely would have made a different decision. And I mean that as a positive statement about her character, not a negative one.

Boy Au Pair Spain December 7, 2015 at 6:43 pm

I think you made the right decision. I have no problem with the opinion that she isn’t suited to be your au pair due to her reckless behaviour. I was just pointing out that some comments have vilified her beyond what is justified by what little we know of her here.

Old China Hand December 5, 2015 at 7:48 pm

I don’t drink, nor does my husband, so alcohol is banned in our house. Our aps aren’t allowed to drive. The current one finally got a license and she cost us an arm and a leg in insurance for only two months. So, back to no driving because we worked out how to get dc1 to preschool and home again without it. Also, just in case, we have written a lot about calling us for a ride if needed.

As a college student I once rode in a car with someone who was drunk driving. I couldn’t drive stick and gender and age differences made me uncomfortable saying anything. I learned to drive stick soon after so I would never be in that situation again.

HMwithProblem December 20, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Final update from OP. LC did offer for her to stay there but she wanted to stay with us and it went fine. I have to say though that it felt like living with someone after a break up and when she finally left it felt really good. But we also learned that she really had not been a very good AP at all. I feel really sad that the whole thing thing was so far from what we hoped it would be. I think all along there were things I just wasn’t letting myself see clearly. Thanks again for all the support.

Taking a Computer Lunch December 22, 2015 at 11:16 pm

In my experience (gained the hard way) APs who do not have common sense in their personal lives often lack it at work as well (not always). But having gone through a year of constant job coaching, I will never do it again. Sorry this burned you on hosting APs. When it works well – it’s fantastic!

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