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Speed, Alcohol and Underaged

Forty years ago there was a brand of beer up in Detroit, Michigan that had a line in it’s advertisement jingle that said, “We put the world on wheels and _____Beer; good things happen when you put the two together.” How that passed muster is a real mystery, because even back then drinking and driving and horrible accidents were too regularly featured as news stories.

If there’s anyone who doesn’t know yet, here’s a clue: drinking alcohol alters your ability to reason, so you shouldn’t be the one who decides whether you have had too much to drink or not. It would be such a great joy to go for several weeks here in New Mexico without having to read about fatal crashes.

For instance, over in Albuquerque there was a crash near Isleta and Raymac in the South Valley area on August 11, 2012. A red Tahoe was speeding he the driver lost control, hit a power pole and rolled the truck. One of the passengers died instantly and another passenger and the 17 year old driver were hospitalized. Oh, and 500 families in the area lost power as well.

The underaged driver had been drinking. Now what? How will he live with himself, knowing that he caused the death of one of his friends? Hopefully he will receive useful therapy to help him deal with the situation, so that he won’t resort to alcohol to try and forget it.

And it’s not just on the road that there are problems. Over in Quay County on Memorial Day weekend, 2012, several under-aged drinkers were responsible for being irresponsible in such a way that left one woman critically injured. If they had just been enjoying the boats and the water and the sunshine and each others’ friendships, they would have been just fine. But when they altered the day by altering their brains a bit with liquor, they made stupid decisions. The 21-year old woman, Shaina Pool, was tossed out of the moving boat and she was injured by the propeller.

The 21 year olds were all charged with selling or giving alcoholic beverages to their friends who were under 21. This puts a 4th degree felony and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of minors on each of their records. No doubt it will be financially costly as well. The 18 year olds were also charged with a 4th degree felony of contributing to the delinquency of minors, and two juveniles were charged with, well, contributing to their own delinquency, or “allowing self to be served.”

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