Four Years After Titusville Teen Fatalities: New Law Targeting House Party Drinking.

Posted on May 25, 2011
Morgan Gordon, 16, and Chelsea Beck, 17, died tragically in a single-car accident in 2006. A few months later in 2007, Shane Alvarez and Brian Popovich, both 19, and Cassady Pullins, 16, were killed in a motorcycle crash.

In both cases, the teenagers had been drinking at house parties before hitting the road. Tyler Winik, 16 years old at the time and a friend of Gordon's and Beck's, went on a mission to promote tougher state laws against drinking at house parties. According to the Florida Today report, Brevard County commissioners were among those who supported the effort, ending with the recent bill approved by Florida lawmakers, now sent to Governor Rick Scott for signature.

The bill increases the penalty for second or subsequent offense violating the open house party statute, and the charge if a minor is seriously injured or killed as a result of drinking alcohol or taking drugs at a house party.

Coming at graduation time when many high school seniors prepare to celebrate, this bill is a reminder that parents are the first in line to combat teenage drunken driving and need to take all necessary steps to prevent tragedy.

It also shows how the persistence of one person, Tyler Winik, can make a difference.

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