Underage DWI is a serious charge in Texas. The potential criminal consequences become even more severe when the underage drunk driver causes an accident and injures others. Unfortunately, a recent crash in Arlington has left a teenage girl dead and her boyfriend facing serious criminal charges.
Four Loko and an Unlicensed Minor Driver
A lot of dangerous ingredients contributed to a fatal accident that recently occurred in Denton.
An unlicensed 14-year-old boy was attempting to drive his girlfriend, 14, and another friend, 16, from Arlington to Oklahoma but only reached Denton before he lost control of his vehicle and struck a guard rail. His vehicle rolled and the crash killed his young girlfriend.
Reports indicated that the driver and surviving passenger showed signs of intoxication. Evidence from the vehicle suggests that the teens had been consuming the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko. Four Loko has been wildly popular with young people because it is potent (12 percent alcohol), cheap and contains caffeine.
The young man is facing consequences that most 14-year-olds never dream of: he is burdened with the responsibility of his girlfriend's death and has been charged with intoxicated manslaughter.
Underage Drunk Drinking in Texas
Because of the potentially severe consequences, Texas takes underage DWI seriously. Underage alcohol consumption caused 187 fatalities in Texas in 2008, according to the Century Council. Authorities are trying to lower that number, and their efforts mean stiffer penalties for minor offenders.
Drivers under 21 years of age face underage drunk driving charges when any detectable amount of alcohol is found within their system. Some of the consequences offenders face include license suspension, fines, mandatory classes, and the stigma of a conviction.
Many good people - especially young people - make mistakes. It is important for young people that have been arrested to take the charges seriously, as they hurt people's job prospects and can even eliminate a youth's ability to participate in extracurricular activities.
Source: ABC News