Underage Drinking and Driving, a Deadly Combination

Underage Drinking and DrivingOn June 12, 2012, I sat through a guilty plea and sentencing. I can’t tell you how many thousands of these I have seen in my career. But this one was different. I wish I could mandate that every high school student sit through what I sat through. I was sitting with my clients, the parents of a 19 year old Montgomery County PA boy that was killed in a DUI accident.

The back story involves five boys who had been teammates on their high school lacrosse team. A year had passed since their graduation. Some had remained at home, some of them had gone away to college. But it was summer again and they were reunited. On this particular evening, they gathered at one of the boy’s parent’s home and had some alcohol. None of them were “legal,” but when has that ever stopped college age kids from having a few drinks? Unfortunately, they all got into a car to head to the next stop.

For unknown reasons, the driver began driving far faster than he should have and the unspeakable occurred. Two of the passengers, including my clients’ son were killed when the driver lost control of the car. It is estimated that at the time that the vehicle failed to negotiate a bend in the road, it was traveling 97 MPH in a 35 MPH zone. A deadly combination: teenage boys, alcohol, cars and speed. At the end of the sentencing hearing, after listening to the parent’s of his dead friends tell him what they had done to their lives, the driver was led away to state prison for the next 4 years of his life.

During the summer, incidents of teenage drinking happen with incredible frequency. Thankfully, the results are not often so tragic. Graduations, senior week, reuniting with friends after a year away at college; all rights of passage. Unfortunately, these events are often intertwined with drinking and driving. If you choose to drink, remember that you control your fate until you enter a vehicle. Once you get in a car with someone who has been drinking, your fate is in their hands. Once they are driving at speeds of 30, 40, 50 MPH, its too late for you to decide that you shouldn’t be in that car. If you get behind the wheel, you may have to live with the consequences of that decision for the rest of your life.

If you are charged with DUI, or if you have been injured by
a person that was driving after drinking, contact me. I can help.

Posted on December 13, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Underage Drinking and Driving, a Deadly Combination.

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