After killing four in an accident, Texas teen gets 10 years probation

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. Not only are teens less likely to drive safely overall, but they are more likely to crash when there is alcohol in their bloodstream than older drivers. The CDC states that in a national survey conducted in 2011, eight percent of the teen participants admitted that they had consumed alcohol and then driven within the previous month.

A serious accident easily dismissed

Recently, a 16 year old Texas teenager was just one of the many teenagers that made the decision to drink and drive. Before the accident, the teenager and some of his friends had stolen beer from a local store. Later on in the evening, the teenager caused a crash that killed four and injured two of his friends that were in the bed of the truck he was driving. The teenager's truck hit a parked car and then slid into another vehicle going in the opposite direction. CNN reported that when the teen's blood alcohol content level was checked following the accident, it was reported that it was at 0.24, a figure three times the legal limit.

Despite the severe outcome of this drunken driving accident, the judge only sentenced the teenager to 10 years of probation and no jail time. This verdict stunned the prosecutors on the case and the victims' family members who were fighting for a maximum of twenty years in prison.

The judge gave the teenager this light sentence because he is in need of treatment. According to a psychologist, he is the victim of a condition called "affluenza." This means that his behaviors were a result of being raised by wealthy parents that never set any rules for him to follow.

What parents can do to prevent teen drinking

While there are a variety of laws and methods that can be implemented to control teen drinking and tragic accidents like this one, one of the most effective strategies for preventing underage drinking is involved parents. Parents should:

  • Talk about the alcohol advertisements their teenager is exposed to and the real truths about drinking.
  • Stay involved in their teenager's life without being too overbearing.
  • Be a good role model and exhibit safe drinking behaviors.
  • Ask for help if they are concerned that their child is engaging in risky drinking behaviors.

Unfortunately, not every parent is concerned about their teenager drinking and driving. If you were involved in an accident with a drunk driver, consult with an attorney that can ensure your legal rights are protected. Please call us at 210-226-3777, toll free at 877-716-3777 or fill out our online contact form to set up a free initial consultation and case evaluation.