There is a troubling variety of stories in the news about teens and drunk driving. Across the country teens find themselves arrested for DUI. Some of the worst cases involve serious injury or death while behind the wheel and impaired.
In Kennewick, Washington, for example, a 15-year-old was driving a stolen 1999 Oldsmobile when a Washington State Patrol officer attempted to stop him, according to the Tri-City Herald.
The teen fled in the car, and before police could stop him he struck a building. He was not hurt in the incident, though his 16-year-old passenger was taken to the hospital. The teen was charged with vehicular assault, driving under the influence and eluding police.
In Defuniak Springs, Florida, a teen from recently pleaded no contest to DUI manslaughter following a collision that killed a friend of hers last year.
The Associated Press is reporting that Elyse Tirico was 16-years-old when she crashed her car. Her defense team is asking that she be sentenced as a juvenile. If she is, Tirico could face a sentence ranging from probation to six years in prison. If she were tried as an adult, she could face ten years in prison.
Tirico’s accident happened after she left a party with two friends in her car. According to authorities, she ran a stop sign and crashed her car into a tree. Her blood-alcohol level was tested and determined to be 0.102 percent, well above the legal limit.
In San Diego, a teenager was arrested on suspicion of DUI recently, after allegedly running a red light and crashing into a car, injuring a woman in the other car. Police had to break the window out of the 51-year-old driver’s car to get her out of it, according to 10News. Police said that the teen, Julian Tavasci, appeared intoxicated and was arrested.
These are just a few recent examples of the serious consequences for underage DUI. Many states have special DUI laws for minors arrested for drunk driving that may carry harsh penalties. Unfortunately for many of these teens, a life lesson comes too late when the consequences are fatal.
After a single-vehicle drunk driving crash that sent one man to a trauma center with severe injuries, an 18-year-old was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI.
Danielle Everman of Fountain Valley, Calif. was arrested in December after she crashed her Ford Explorer into a guard rail, severely injuring her passenger, 20-year-old Jacob Dearman.
According to a police report, Dearman was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident. He was rushed to a trauma center nearby and treated for his injuries.
Everman was arrested after the crash, and released on $100,000 bail. The Orange County Register reported that Everman was under the influence of alcohol when she was drove the Ford Explorer off the road and into the guard rail.
No further information is currently available about the incident.
The Chicago Tribune reported that a high school student was pulled over after police clocked her car going 118 m.p.h. near Merrillville, Ind. on September 10. The Crown Point, Ind. 17 year-old girl told police she was in a rush because she was going to be late for school.
According to the police report, the girl, driving a 2000 Toyota Celica, was pulled over for weaving in and out of traffic. The officer detected the smell of alcohol. During a breath test, the girl registered higher than .08%.
She was arrested for DUI and ticketed for reckless driving, unsafe lane movement, speeding and not having a driver’s license in her possession.
A Jefferson County, Colorado liquor store clerk was sentenced to home detention and probation for selling liquor to a minor who later died in a DUI accident. Loc Quang Truong was given 120 days home detention and 18 months of probation.
Loc had pled guilty to providing alcohol to a 20-year-old minor using his older brother’s expired Michigan driver’s license. Paul Ondrish later rolled his vehicle, killing himself and a passenger.
They were not wearing seatbelts. Three teenagers, riding in the back seat and wearing their seatbelts, suffered minor injuries.
The boys’ families said they were satisfied with the sentence which includes 120 hours of community service in a trauma facility, restitution, a $1,000 fine, orders to obtain a GED, to not work in a liquor store, and to attend a victim-empathy panel.
A 15-year-old-boy was arrested for DUI in Brewster, NY. The youth, whose name has not been released, was pulled over for driving erratically.
He has been charged with DUI and refusing to submit to a . The boy and his passenger were taken to the Brewster police station and his father was called to come pick him up.
A Brewster police sergeant said: “unfortunately it seems to be a somewhat disturbing trend that more and more juveniles are not only engaging in this misbehavior, but then furthering the danger of it by going out and driving.”