Reckless Driving Charges Possible for Utah Teen Who Crashed Vehicle While Blindfolded

A Utah teen who took a new challenge to dangerous levels could face charges of reckless driving after she crashed her vehicle while blindfolded.

New thriller

Photo by: Ginny

Netflix recently released a new thriller titled Bird Box which was viewed over 45 million times within a week of its release date. In the horror/thriller film “Bird Box”, the main character and her two children must navigate through a forest and down a river. The clincher however is they must remain blindfolded or they will die from their own suicide attempts. The movie uses monsters that prey on sight, leaving blindfolds to be the only saving grace of the characters.

The Challenge

While the film itself has received high ratings from viewers and critics alike, one of the fads that has followed is being openly opposed by law enforcement and Netflix. Following the millions of movie views, several people have taken it upon themselves to do what is known as the “Bird Box Challenge”. This challenge involves a person blindfolding themselves and then trying to navigate or perform tasks without the ability to see. Although some may do the challenge in a controlled environment such as navigating safely across their bedroom, others are taking the challenge too far, putting themselves and others in danger.

Bird Box vs driving

Photo by: Keirsten Marie

One teen in Utah decided to take the challenge to the road. The 17 year old girl was driving down Layton Parkway with her 16 year old male friend pulled her beanie down over her eyes, and continued down the road. Not surprisingly, she eventually crossed into oncoming traffic and hit another vehicle before crashing into a light pole. Fortunately for her and the other driver, no injuries were reported. Now that law enforcement knows the reason behind the wreck, the teen will likely face charges which could include reckless driving.

Reckless Driving

Utah Code 41-6a-528 states “A person is guilty of reckless driving who operates a vehicle: In willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. . . “. Reckless driving is punishable as a class B misdemeanor. Anyone who wants to join a like fad or challenge is encouraged to think about the physical as well as criminal repercussions that could occur. Parents are encouraged to speak to their teens about dangerous challenges that are currently making the rounds to ensure their teen are using common sense before joining in with the crowd.

Dealing with Stress and Anxiety – Juvenile Drug Use in Utah

There are several possible explanations for the issue of juvenile drug use in Utah, however dealing with anxiety and high levels of stress may be all it takes to send kids looking for an escape through substance abuse.

Juvenile Drug Use in Utah
Photo by: CollegeDegrees360

Pointing fingers

Peer pressure, demographics, weak family relationships, and poor choices of friends are all areas that have received much of the blame for the problem of juvenile drug use in Utah. While these have been proven to play a noteworthy part in some cases of adolescent drug use, one area that is often overlooked is the everyday stresses of being a teenager.

Rough stage of life

Being a teenager is tough: classes are harder; relationships with friends can change suddenly and dramatically; dating can be cruel; more is expected from parents; and shifting hormones can make everything seem overwhelming at times. Teenagers can be left feeling sad, anxious, and stressed out. It is no surprise that the teenager years, especially starting around the ages of 12 and 13 is when juvenile drug use in Utah sees an intense increase in numbers.

“To feel better”

Photo by: Marius Dollinger
Photo by: Marius Dollinger

Teenagers are often at a loss at how to deal with everything that life is throwing at them. This can often be why normally good kids turn to drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Some adolescents suffer from depression, social anxiety, stress-related disorders, and physical pain. Using drugs may be an attempt to lessen these feelings of distress. Stress especially plays a significant role in starting and continuing drug use as well as returning to drug use (relapsing) for those recovering from an addiction.”

Learn to spot triggers for juvenile drug use in Utah

It is important for parents, teachers, and other adult role models to recognize when a teen needs help and to teach them how to deal with life issues before drugs come into play. This can protect the youth in Utah from a life of substance abuse and dependency or from having a criminal record.

Utah Teens Start after School Riot

Three Utah teens are facing felony charges for starting a riot after school in the parking lot of Pine View High School in St. George last week.

Photo by: hans van den berg
Photo by: hans van den berg

Looking for a fight

The teenager girls, one of which was a minor, went to the high school with the intention of starting a fight. When the last bell of the day rang, hundreds of high school students piled out the doors to head home but instead came upon a frightening situation. A handful of students leaving were approached by the three outsiders and punches were thrown.

Riot penalties

Picking a fight with another person isn’t typically considered riot, although it could end in assault charges. A person is considered to be creating a riot when they, along with one or more friends (a small to large group), create an aggressive environment where people around are made to feel as though they are in danger. If they don’t end the dangerous behavior when told, they can face riot charges.

Misdemeanor or felony

According to Utah Code 76-9-101, “Riot is a felony of the third degree if, in the course of and as a result of the conduct, any person suffers bodily injury, or substantial property damage, arson occurs or the defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon ( . . . ); otherwise it is a class B misdemeanor.”

Peer pressure

Photo by: Pabak Sarkar
Photo by: Pabak Sarkar

Although an investigation is pending, it is not known at this time what affiliations the girls who started the riot had with those they targeted; there is a possibility the attack was random. One thing has been made apparent from witnesses however; the underage girl was encouraged by the older teens to fight. Giving in to peer pressure when it puts the individual or others in danger is never worth it in the end. Peer pressure that has led to criminal charges should be discussed thoroughly with a juvenile defense attorney.