Teenagers, alcohol, and late-night driving are a recipe for disaster, as was recently shown in a tragic DUI-related accident that recently occurred in northern California.
According to the San Mateo County Times, Sean Quintero, a 19-year-old resident of San Francisco who had been drinking and partying on that fatal night, was involved in a serious car accident that killed one of the passengers in his car.
Sources indicate that the teenager was driving along Highway 101 towards the southern part of San Francisco with a blood alcohol content of .16, which is twice the legal limit of .08 for adults over the age of 21.
Apparently, Quintero was driving home from a party and loudly discussing music with the four passengers in his car when he failed to notice that traffic ahead had come to a stop. The traffic had stopped because of an unrelated car collision minutes before the Quintero accident.
Tragically, Quintero noticed the stopped cars too late, and rammed his Toyota, which was his mother’s car, into the back of another vehicle.
When the accident occurred, Quintero’s friend, 17-year-old Margaret Qaqish was pressed against her seatbelt and suffered severe internal injuries. The force of the accident was so powerful that she suffered fatal damage to her internal organs.
Qaqish, who was a senior at a San Francisco high school, had been sitting in the rear middle seat of the car, so she may have also struck the back of another seat or another person. Fortunately, though, the other three passengers in the car were not seriously injured.
The accident occurred around 3:20 a.m. and all the occupants of the car had allegedly been drinking that night. Quintero, to his credit, has expressed serious remorse for the tragic accident, according to his DUI attorney.
Quintero has accepted responsibility for his actions, as he recently pleaded no contest to charges of drunk driving and causing a crash with a fatality.
The felony charges could put Quintero in prison for up to four years and four months, though his sentence will not be determined by a local judge until this January. Until then, Quintero will have to await news of his fate.
In addition to the possible prison sentence, the teenager could also face severe financial penalties. He is currently being held in jail on a 325,000 bond.
Historically, young males have disproportionately higher rates of drunk driving accidents. And DUI accidents tend to be more dangerous as the drivers grow younger and more intoxicated.
For teenagers who are out drinking and do not want to alarm their parents, there are still plenty of ways to get home without endangering friends or other drivers.
For example, public transportation, including buses or trains, and taxis offer safe, reliable ways to get home.