Westfield Students Learn Dangers of Drunk Driving in Time for Prom

Westfield High School juniors and seniors heard a presentation by Steven Benvenisti on the dangers of drunk driving. Credits: Jill D'Ambrosio

 WESTFIELD, NJ — Just in time for prom this weekend, Westfield High School juniors and seniors witnessed a presentation Tuesday by Steven Benvenisti, the author of "Spring Break: A True Story of Hope and Determination.” 

 “When I was 21 years old and a senior at the College of New Jersey, a drunk driver crashed into me while I was walking. I was knocked into a deep coma, fractured both of my legs almost losing them, spent five months in the hospital and underwent 15 surgeries,” said Benvenisti. “Upon achieving a full recovery, I have devoted my life to being a personal injury attorney and also a motivational speaker to students to try to convince them to never drink and drive.”

Every year, 10,000 people in the United States die because of drunk driving, and 40 percent of fatal alcohol related car crashes involve teenagers, he said.

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 “If teenagers don't make themselves a promise as young drivers to never drink and drive, then there is a greater likelihood that they will drive drunk in the future,” said Benvenisti.

To stimulate communication between parents and teens on the issue of drunk driving, he created a “contract for life” to be signed by teenagers as well as their parents. The contract is a mutual promise that the teens will never drink and drive and the parent promises to pick up their son or daughter if they have had an alcoholic drink and need a ride home.

 “I encourage parents to have an ongoing dialog with their teens not only to never drink and drive, but if they ever do drink, to call the parent for a ride home,” said Benvenisti.

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