When 19-year-old Benjamin Repinski asked someone to drive him home he may have thought he was doing the right thing. After all, he knew he had been drinking and shouldn’t be driving.
Unfortunately, the driver who agreed had also been drinking – and was only 12-years-old.
On the way home down County Road 12 in Minnesota, she mistook the brake pedal for the gas, veered off the road, and drove through a garden. Repinski then got behind the wheel to drive the two out of the garden and hit a shed, reports CBS News.
The homeowners called the police at about 11:30 pm. When police officers arrived on the scene, they asked to see her license, but she didn’t have one.
Police were surprised to learn the girl Repinski asked for a ride is only twelve years old. They were further stunned when she submitted to a breathalyzer test and was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.09, according to the Boston Herald.
She was taken to a local hospital because she was complaining of back and side pain, where she was released to her mother. She refused to submit to a blood test.
Even though his blood alcohol level was not over 0.08, Repinski has been cited for underage drinking and driving, consumption by a minor, and allowing an unlicensed person to drive. All of these charges are misdemeanors.
He will be expected to attend an August 27, 2010 court date, reports WQOW. The twelve-year-old was cited for a fourth-degree DWI and for refusal to submit to a blood test, says WCCO.
However, those are not the only two people cited in this peculiar event. While a deputy sheriff was on his way to the hospital to interview the girl about the accident, he noticed a moped wobbling down Highway 43 while driving down the road.
The driver of the moped was wearing sunglasses even though it was the middle of the night. The deputy stopped the moped and cited Daniel G. Arndt, age 21, for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. When the deputy asked why Arndt was driving while intoxicated, Arndt replied that he was going to pick up his friend Benjamin Repinski who had been in a car accident.
Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand acknowledged the peculiarity of the event in an interview with WKBT News.
“It’s something you don’t come across every day. In my forty years of law enforcement, I’ve only come across it once or twice.”
One would hope that to be the case.
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.”