Hats Off to This Year's Graduates!
It's that time of year again – thousands of local teens and college students participate in graduation ceremonies. On behalf of our partners and staff at Edgar Snyder & Associates, I want to congratulate this year's graduates. We hope you enjoy your parties and celebrations.
I also want to remind everyone to drive safe and sober, both for your sake as well as the sake of others on the road. I'm sure that most graduates and their friends and family are aware of the dangers of drunk driving. The problem is that it's human nature to think that ‘it will be okay this time' and reason:
If you're underage…
- You may be drinking, but you aren't planning to drive.
- You will be at a party where adults are supervising.
- You won't be drinking but may catch a ride home with a friend.
If you're over age 21…
- You feel like you know your tolerance level and will be okay to drive.
- You're only driving home a few miles.
- You can serve some underage friends at your house. They know what they can handle, right?
Pennsylvania's Social Host Liability Law
Parents may think they're doing their teens a favor if they allow alcohol at a party but plan to supervise. They may plan to take everyone's keys and make sure things don't get out of hand, but the risk is too great. Pennsylvania has what's called a Social Host Liability Law, which means if an adult over age 21 provides alcohol to a minor and that minor is injured or killed – or if the minor injures or kills someone else – then the adult can be held liable for the medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. Plus, it's a third-degree misdemeanor and punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
Every year we witness tragedies that involve recent graduates. Often they are smart, intelligent young people who were supposed to have bright futures. They had so much to live for, until one decision changed everything.
At our law firm, we see things that most people don't have to see. We witness lives torn apart, and the loss that family members endure. It's a known fact that you take your lives in your hands every time you get behind the wheel, but it may not sink in until it's too late.
Please use the following resources on our website and share them with family and friends.
- Pennsylvania's Drunk Driving Laws
- Drunk Driving Infographic
- Underage Drinking Statistics
- Safe & Sober Pledge
Whether you are a graduate or will attend celebrations to honor a recent graduate, I encourage you to take a moment to think about everyone whose lives you could affect by not staying safe and sober, including your own. The chance to see your dreams come true – that's worth living for.