A Teenage Driver is Like an Expensive Bottle of Whiskey

By Larry Teren

There is an irony in the following but it is not funny. Do a web engine search on “18 year old Highland Park” and it comes up on the first page with two significant but unrelated subjects. Well, maybe:

1.
An 18 year old girl from Highland Park, Illinois was charged with reckless homicide after she allegedly struck and killed a five-year-old girl while driving. Actually, she was not immediately charged with committing any crime but authorities subsequently took toxicology tests on her condition. The blood tests indicated that she allegedly had difluorethane in her system. This is a chemical that is commonly found in commercial cleaning products. According to a prosecutor, a container of the cleaning product was found in her car.

The 18 year old girl has a history of drug abuse and prosecutors believe that she was trying to get high by inhaling a computer cleaning spray when she got distracted and drove up onto the sidewalk on which the five-year-old girl was walking with her mother and other siblings.

The teenager has had emotional problems that go back a few years. In 2009 she had been attacked by a friend’s pit bulldog which left both physical and mental scars on her. After the attack, she started taking Prozac for depression and suicidal thoughts, according to court records. She had also been cited for possession of marijuana and participated in a 12-step rehab program ordered by the court system.

What is also disturbing about all of this, if it is true, is that her parents or the legal system would allow her to get behind the wheel of any vehicle. Her parents rewarded her by letting her drive a Lexus coupe, not a cheap car at all.

We all have different mental and physical makeup. When I was about ten years old I was attacked by a neighbor’s german shepherd dog in the alley behind our two-flat when it bolted from their backyard. Very fortunate for me, the neighbor came running out and grabbed the dog from doing major damage before all he did was put a slight dent in my kneecap. In all the excitement, I still don’t remember if it was from a tooth or the sharp nail of a paw.

I had nightmares and was afraid of dogs of all sizes for several years but never to the extent that it caused me to consider taking medicine, seeing a shrink, using illegal drugs, or affecting my driving habits. Because of parental leniency or possibly the unwillingness for someone to step in and put a leash on a court documented disturbed 18 year-old, a five-year-old girl will never celebrate her sixth birthday.

2. 18 Year Old Highland Park Scotch Whisky Advertisement
“The 18 year old produced by Highland Park is one of the best in the world, without a doubt, and has been considered so since the first bottle was released. This is simply a stunning Scotch, balanced with rich flavors, the perfect amount of peat and a delicious, sweet oak. There is not much more to say than if you consider yourself a whisky lover and have not tried this bottle, you are missing out on a specimen of immaculate design.”

I generally don’t like to give anyone free publicity, let alone a manufacturer of alcohol products.
I have nothing against them and I am sure they are dedicated to putting out the best whisky possible. It should also be pointed out that there was no alcohol involved in the driving accident tragedy. Nor do I intimate that any alcohol-related driving deaths were induced by people drinking this brand.

They say “don’t drink and drive”. I say “don’t drink, period”. But, I realize life is all about choices and there are certainly people who can hold their liquor. My brother is a Scotch lover. The same with a nephew.

I dunno. Maybe I’m the only one who sees the irony. Huh?

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