State officials are charging five Middleburg residents in connection with the death of an intoxicated 19-year-old woman who stepped in front of a car and was killed on Alligator Boulevard in June.
The five were charged under a 2011 state law that prohibits holding an open house party where people younger than age 21 are served alcohol. If convicted, they face up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) reported that the woman died after stepping into the path of a car on Alligator Boulevard at 4:40 a.m. near the party. She had been drinking at the party and her blood alcohol level was at .16, twice the legal limit had she been driving.
After the fatal pedestrian accident, FHP called the state Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (AB&T) to investigate the party. AB&T found that those throwing the party had advertised it through Facebook, phone calls, and text messages. According to reports, the woman was encouraged by two of those charged in the incident to drink from another bottle of alcohol while playing beer pong.
The Florida Times-Union reports that the woman got into an argument, left the residence, and was struck by the car shortly thereafter.
The head of the state regulatory agency stated that the arrests should serve as a warning to others who throw parties where under-aged drinkers are served alcohol. “Open house parties and underage consumption of alcohol are very dangerous situations that can ultimately be avoided. Adults who serve children alcohol should be held responsible.”
If you believe that someone you love has died as the result of another’s negligence, you have the right to hold those parties accountable for their actions. Wrongful death cases can be complex endeavors, so contacting the Jacksonville wrongful death lawyers at Farah & Farah is a sound first step when you want to find out what your legal options are. We can be reached at (800) 533-3555. Your call is free and confidential.