GJEL Accident Attorneys Urge Parents to Take Away the Keys During Graduation

Graduating High School Seniors Who Celebrate with Alcohol Should Not Get Behind the Wheel

SAN FRANCISCO (June 8, 2010) – Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen (GJEL Accident Attorneys), a catastrophic injury and wrongful death law firm in the San Francisco Bay Area, is encouraging California parents to take the keys away from high school seniors who attend graduation celebrations where there is a chance alcohol will be present. In 2006, 1,700 high school students were arrested for driving under the influence, accounting for 9.5 percent of all DUI arrests that year, an increase from 7.5 percent in 1996 according to the California Highway Patrol.

“As parents, we need to keep eyes wide open during graduations and summer parties where teens gather to celebrate. The chance that alcohol may appear at these events is high, and no one should get behind the wheel after consuming alcoholic beverages regardless of their age,” said Andrew Gillin, managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys. “In our effort to keep families and other motorists safe, GJEL Accident Attorneys advises parents take the keys away, be a chauffeur, and use our Parent-Teen Safe Driving Contract as a discussion guide about teen driver safety.”

In 2008, more than 2,200 drivers under 21-years-old were injured in accidents caused by impaired driving. Each year during prom and graduation months in California, more than 700 students under 21-years-old are killed in alcohol-related car accidents, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The firm’s safe-driving contract is intended to help initiate conversation about roadway safety, especially for teen drivers and their passengers. The agreement covers six areas pertaining to distracted driving, driving under the influence, driving a vehicle with minors, speeding and other rules of the road, and auto accidents. Each section includes specific pledges to prompt family discussion, and the contract suggests signatures to seal the agreement.

The GJEL Accident Attorneys Parent-Teen Safe Driving Contract is available for download at http://www.gjel.com/news in an editable Microsoft Word format to help families adjust the content to their individual situations.

“It’s never too late to address motorist safety with your kids. Even older children like incentives and rewards. We suggest parents establish a reward if the safe-driving contract is fulfilled and a consequence when teens break their pledge to be safe as a motorist,” said Gillin.

Teens are also encouraged to carry in their vehicle’s glove compartment a copy of GJEL’s accident checklist, which provides tips on what to do in the event of a traffic accident.

About Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen

GJEL Accident Attorneys is a San Francisco Bay Area law firm representing plaintiffs in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. Since 1972, Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen has obtained recoveries in more than 99 percent of its cases.