The community of Irvine has been grieving after we lost a 14-year-old to a habitual drunk driver. Austin Jeffrey Farley is suspected of being under the influence when he crashed into the Mercedes that Ashton Sweet was riding in.
As we found out shortly after the crash, Farley had a long list of arrests for alcohol and drug possession. Farley has spent most of his early 20’s paying for his alcohol related offenses. His latest charge is murder.
We can’t speculate when Farley started drinking, or what his drug use is. But its clear that he began drinking and driving by the time he was 19.
According to the OC Register, the CHP arrested Farley on a minor driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .05 or higher. He got off that charge by completing a diversion program.
Most people don’t get arrested the first time they do something wrong. Some people get away with drinking and driving for years. Many are lucky, not because they avoided jail time, but because they didn’t hurt anyone.
There are programs in place in the city of Irvine, specifically TARGET21, established by the Irvine by the Irvine Community Drug Prevention group. They back social host ordinances, and preach that kids should aviod trying alcohol at all until they are 21.
Not only do we need more types of these programs to help usher kids into adulthood, but kids can also be tested to make sure they are not using alcohol or narcotics. 2,500 children use drugs for the first time every day. Prescription drug abuse is becoming a huge problem.
School educators use breathalyzers and home drug tests at school functions like dances and grad nights. Parents need to step up to help raise responsible children who become responsible adults. Do not serve alcohol to minors in your home. Educate them not to drink or do drugs, and make them aware you will test them.
Myteensavers has treated too many children who started using at a young age. Many of them say that they had little to no parental guidance during this formative years.
Guide your child into adulthood, and help raise a responsible young adult.