A teen has been arrested for accusations stemming from an alleged murder attempt after he intentionally crashed his car into another teen earlier this month. It goes without saying that this case has stunned the San Diego community, reminding all of us of the inherently naïve nature of teen drivers.

Police say the Escondido teen, 18, met another teen, 19, at a party. The two allegedly got into an altercation that “spilled into the roadway” according to an Escondido police lieutenant. Reports indicate the accident then occurred after the teen in question intentionally careened his vehicle into the other teen’s car, a pickup truck.

The collision occurred near James Street and Easy Valley Parkway.

Officers say the driver in question fled the scene. However, the vehicle was later traced and found to be owned by the teen in question. After he was brought into the police station for an interview with investigators, the teen allegedly admitted to engaging in a “cat and mouse” race. Incredibly, the teens were driving up to 100 mph until the driver in question finally struck the pickup truck, sending it into a roadway pillar according to authorities.

Reports say that alcohol may have been a factor in this accident.


There’s no doubt that teens and alcohol do not mix. In cases like these, one can only wonder whether the accident could have been prevented if alcohol was not a factor in the crash. Sadly, no one will ever know, and worse, an innocent life has been taken in light of one teen’s bad decision.

For many parents, teen car accidents such as these pull into question just how much effort we as a community have put forth to prevent underage drinking and driving. The truth is that many community awareness programs exist and have been put into place to help prevent underage drinking and driving. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), researchers have observed a 54 percent drop in underage drinking and driving, ages 16 and older, since 1991. That’s the good news. But parents have the most impact on teens regardless of any safety awareness campaign. Here’s what you can do to educate your teen and, hopefully, make a positive impact on your child. And if you don’t think your teen is engaging in risky behavior, consider this: One in six teens binge drinks, yet only 1 in 100 parents believe his or her teen binge drinks according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

STATISTICS DON’T LIE. The stats for underage drinking and driving are alarming. Share with your teen the realities of bad choices:

  • Young drivers between the ages of 16 to 20 are 17 times more likely to die in a car accident when they drive while they are intoxicated (CDC).
  • Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and about a quarter of those crashes involve an underage drinking driver (MADD).
  • 1 in 5 teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had some alcohol in their system in 2010. Most of these drivers (81%) had BACs* higher than the legal limit for adults (CDC).

FOLLOW THE GRADUATED LICENSE PROGRAM. New drivers are certainly at a higher risk for car accidents. When combined with alcohol, the risk for teenage car accidents increases exponentially. The graduated license program (GLP) helps to bridge that gap. Although the GLP program does not necessarily address underage drinking and driving, its rules help prevent teens from traveling at certain times of the day that could be potentially risky – say, for example, in the middle of the night when partying and drinking is most likely to occur.

In the state of California, teens are prohibited from driving their vehicles from 11 pm to 5 am in addition to restrictions against carrying passengers until certain criteria are met. It’s important to enforce these rules with your teen. Don’t make exceptions – doing so only encourages your teen to break the law when you’re not around. Set the bar high and follow the rules. For more information on GDL laws, click here.


Michael Pines is a personal injury attorney in San Diego, California with over 20 years of experience in car accident law. He is a recognized advocate in the local community and has written countless articles on teen accident prevention. For legal help on accidents or injuries, contact Mike 24/7 for immediate legal guidance.