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Will teen's case be made extreme example of underage drinking?

As parents, we know that having kids comes with risks. We know that we risk watching our kids get sick, hurt, in trouble. We hope to never see our kids get into trouble with the law. But even a kid with a clean past can find himself charged with a crime. 

Currently, a 19-year-old faces serious criminal charges in Maryland. His legal situation started with what many might consider a normal part of being a teenager: going to a party. Unfortunately, that single night of partying has led to the young man being charged with two counts of vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol, two counts of manslaughter by motor vehicle, and more.

The criminal indictments came last month, after a car accident in which the teen was the driver took place in June. Two other teen passengers died in the crash; another was seriously injured. Prosecutors in the case claim that the teen driver was over his legal limit. For underage suspects in Maryland, that limit is low: 0.02 percent. 

If the young defendant is convicted of the charges against him, sources report he could face more than 20 years in prison. While there is no doubt that the deaths and injuries of the teens in this case are devastating, the consequences of this teen's case could most definitely be devastating, too. 

The prosecution and the court could see this case as an opportunity to be tough on underage drinking. No matter what the agenda of the state, however, the young defendant has a right to a vigorous legal defense that could serve his best interests now and in the future. 

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