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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Alcohol’s deadly consequences evident on NH roads, in courts

Sometimes it’s easy for consequences to seem distant, particularly to the young.

But sometimes they’re all too close. ...

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Sometimes it’s easy for consequences to seem distant, particularly to the young.

But sometimes they’re all too close.

Substance abuse prevention advocates and experts spend a lot of time talking about the dangers associated with teen substance abuse, including underage drinking.

They talk about how it drastically increases a person’s chances of addiction later in life.

And they talk about how it’s particularly damaging to the still-developing brains of adolescents.

But there are other more immediate consequences, too, a few of which some New Hampshire residents were reminded of recently.

Portsmouth 17-year-old Remi Gross-Santos was charged this month with two counts of second-
degree assault and one count each of possession of drugs in a motor vehicle and transportation of alcoholic beverage.

Gross-Santos was already charged with drunk driving after a June 12 crash in Hampton Beach.

Police said he swerved into Karen Weinhold, 69, and Lisa Beaudry, 60, days before his high school graduation.

Both women were airlifted to Boston-area hospitals after the crash.

Two days after that crash, police in Pelham were summoned to a home when called by a concerned parent who had picked up his son at an underage drinking party at 3 Monument Hill Road, police said.

Dozens of teenagers had attended a graduation party at the home, owned by Sandra Whiting, 47, according to news reports.

Police said the home smelled of alcohol and marijuana, and they found about five large bags of empty alcohol bottles and cans hidden in the basement.

Whiting was charged with hosting an underage drinking party, according to media reports.

But underage drinking isn’t the only way substance abuse affects kids.

In May, 37-year-old father Nghia Huynh was indicted on a charge of negligent homicide after a Feb. 21 crash on the F.E. Everett Turnpike that killed his son, Kobe Huynh, a seventh-grade student in Maine.

Police said the elder Huynh was drunk when his Mitsubishi 3000 hit the center median and rolled over into the northbound lane. An oncoming car hit the Mitsubishi and was then hit by another vehicle, police said.

Huynh is charged with negligent homicide and aggravated driving while intoxicated, according to court documents.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached
at 594-6415 or jcote@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Cote
on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).