May of last year, a 19-year-old attended a graduation party and consumed copious amounts of alcohol before getting in his car and heading home. He began speeding and blew through a red light, T-boning a 19-year-old girl’s driver side, which smashed her car into a third car and caused severe injuries to that driver. The 19-year-old girl, also a recent graduate, did not survive the impact.
In a drunken panic, the teenage drunk driver darted from his vehicle and ran up a hill, trying to escape. Witnesses in another vehicle ran after him and forcibly detained him until the police arrived. At 1:00 a.m., the teenage drunk driver called his mother from jail and informed her he did not remember driving, much less killing a young girl. Police found he was seven times the legal limit for minors, which is .02. The blood-alcohol test showed the teenager was driving at .14. He has been indicted on manslaughter, assault charges and leaving the scene of the accident. The 19-year-old faces up to 30 years in prison for a terrible night before his life and the victim’s life really began.
With Prom and Graduation Approaching, Parents Must Talk to Teenagers About the Dangers of Drunk Driving
Prom and graduation is here and this is an exciting time for your young adult! They are growing up and they’re done with high school, so they may want to celebrate the start of the rest of their lives. However, this exciting time is also the most dangerous time for teenage drivers.
According to a study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, April through July has some of the highest teen fatality rates of the year. Teens drive a lot less than adults do, yet the number of fatalities for those 16-19-years-old compared to those who are more than 20 years old is disproportionately high. While drinking and driving is dangerous in and of itself, when you add in a lack of experience and the impulsiveness of teenagers, you get a recipe for disaster.
Parents must have focused conversations with their teenagers about the hazards of underage drinking. Talk openly and honestly about the statistics of teenagers who die each year due to underage driving. Talk to them about the hazards of distracted driving, as well. Make sure they know if they are unable to travel, it is okay to use public transportation or a chauffeured ride. It is truly better to be safe than sorry.
“And how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15