The parents of an Ottawa Hills teen killed in a drunk-driving crash broke their silence about the conviction of the liquor store clerk responsible for furnishing the alcohol.
A judge immediately sentenced 38-year-old Nicholas Thompson to six months behind bars - the maximum sentence - to be served at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio. Thompson sold a bottle of vodka to a teenager on Feb. 1, 2013 at Foxx Liquor on Dorr Street, which was consumed by 18-year-old Brian Hoeflinger and friends at a party that evening in Ottawa Hills. Hoeflinger had a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 percent--more than seven times the legal limit for minor drivers--when he crashed his vehicle into a tree.
Hoeflingerâ??s parents responded to Thompsonâ??s sentence on Saturday.
â??When kids get alcohol illegally, people can die,â?? said Brian Hoeflinger. â??I think there has to be a message sent that this kind of activity canâ??t happen and so I think the judge and the state sent that very firmly.â??
The Hoeflingerâ??s still want more to be done to prevent alcohol from reaching the hands of minors. They want tighter restrictions for liquor store clerks like Thompson, who had a history of serving underage customers.
â??We would like to see harsher penalties set to someone who has done it more than once, or weâ??d like to see that they canâ??t work in that field anymore,â?? said Cindy Hoeflinger.
The Hoeflingers also contend the issue is a societal concern that can be better prevented through better communication between parents, children, and their childrenâ??s friends.
The Hoeflingers plan to speak to parents and children at over a dozen locations in the upcoming months. They will also host a 5K run in Brianâ??s memory on May 3 in Ottawa Hills.