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Alcohol Drinking and driving

It was the summer of his sixteenth birthday. Robert, a star soccer player, says he'd had a few beers when he got behind the wheel of his dad's car.

"It was one of those nights - you're on top of the world," he says. "I thought that I was bulletproof."

Speeding down a winding road near his home, he lost control and hit a tree head on.

"My right leg stayed in the car and the rest of my body flew out," Robert says.

Robert survived. He spent months in a rehab hospital. He remembers the day he understood that he'd never walk again.

"My entire soccer team came to visit me in the hospital," he says. "It wasn't until I saw their faces, teary-eyed, looking at me in the hospital bed, that I realized I'd never be out on that field with them again."

When Robert's parents Ashley and Bob realized he was using alcohol, at age 14, they turned a blind eye. They thought he was being a typical teen.

Looking back, they wish they'd talked with Robert more frequently about alcohol, and had disciplined him when he drank.

"It was hard to think my child might be doing this," Ashley says. "Most people want to sweep it away."

Robert is grateful that his best friend, riding in the passenger's seat, wasn't hurt or killed. That, he says, would've been too much for him to live with.

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