Teen Drinking Tragedy Leads to Adult’s Arrest

Earlier this week, an Alameda woman was arrested for having allegedly assisted a teen in buying alcohol late last year. The teen was a friend of the woman’s child.

Hours after the alcohol was purchased, the teen was dead. She had consumed alcohol and was a passenger in a vehicle that was driven by another intoxicated teen who had been at a party where, presumably, the alcohol was consumed.

As California auto accident lawyers, we are aware of the terrible impact that drinking and driving can have. Families suffer tremendously when a loved one is injured or tragically killed as a result of this dangerous behavior.

The Alameda woman has been arrested on suspicion of furnishing alcohol to a minor. The South San Francisco store clerk and co-owner where the purchase was made has also been arrested. The teen is alleged to have purchased the alcohol, but this is disputed by the store clerk’s attorney who reportedly told SF Gate: “[t]here’s no evidence that any alcohol was sold directly” to the teen. He noted that the adult made the purchase.

This tragedy unfolded in the early morning hours of the day after the alcohol was purchased. The teen was riding in a vehicle driven by a 19-year-old who was driving at 60 miles per hour on Highway 101. He was unable to stop in time to avoid traffic that was stopped due to a previous crash. Veering at a high rate of speed into the next lane, he rear-ended the car in front of his vehicle. The deceased teen who was riding in the back seat of this vehicle was thrown into the front of the car. She died later at a local hospital.

The teen driver’s blood-alcohol level was 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit. He has now pleaded no contest to several charges that include felony drunken driving causing injury, as well as misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence. These crimes carry a sentence of up to four years and four months in prison.

Impaired judgment is only one impact of drinking and driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving has been battling this behavior for years and has gathered statistics on its website state by state and keeps these up to date. California ranks 21st in DUI deaths nationally with 29 percent of the our fatal road deaths attributed to DUI. California requires ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers in only four of our counties: Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare.

The San Francisco law firm of Hersh & Hersh has a long history of improving the public’s health and safety. We have a long and stellar history of creating protections for victims of injury.

If you have any questions about our representation of victims and their families in personal injury and auto accident cases, contact our California office to speak directly with one of our attorneys.