San Jose Teenager Dies in Drunk Driving Accident

drinking.jpgAccording to the California Highway Patrol, three teenage boys and a 17 year old girl had been drinking alcohol when the driver of their car struck another vehicle and then ran into a tree. The collision killed the young girl. The accident occurred on November 22, 2010 in the early morning hours on highway 101 in San Jose. All four occupants were high school students and had been drinking earlier in the night. A bottle of brandy was found in the car. The accident is still under investigation as officials are also investigating where the minor’s obtained the alcohol.

Accidents such as these are a parent’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, teen age drinking and driving is not an uncommon occurrence. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, teenage auto crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers across the United States. The crash rate for 16 to 19 year olds who had been drinking is 1.9 times higher than for drivers of all ages.

As a San Jose personal injury lawyer, and as a parent of four children, I am concerned about what we can do to reduce the number of these teenage auto accidents. Making alcohol less accessible is one step that can be taken. Until recently if the children received or drank the alcohol at an adult’s home, the adults were not responsible for injuries later caused by the teenagers–even if the adults knew about it. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and the Consumer Attorneys of California proposed legislation last year entitled, The Teen Alcohol Safety Act to fix this unjust result. This is one step that will hopefully reduce the number of teenage alcohol related accidents and deaths.

Resources:

The Oakland Tribune, San Jose: Cheerleader, 16, killed in Hwy. 101 crash mourned at Santa Teresa High, November 22, 2010
California Department of Motor Vehicles, Teenage Driver Crash Statistics

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