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“Every 15 Minutes” Campaign at Newport Harbor High

"Every 15 Minutes" Campaign at Newport Harbor High

Photo credit: Praisaeng

Ever heard of the “Every Fifteen Minutes” Campaign? It’s a school-based alcohol prevention program aimed at eliminating alcohol use among adolescents and teenagers. It’s based on the statistic that every 15 minutes, someone dies from an alcohol-related car crash.

Here’s how the program describes itself:

Life’s lessons are best learned through experience. Unfortunately, when the target audience is teens and the topic is drinking and texting while driving, experience is not the teacher of choice.

The Every 15 Minutes Program offers real-life experience without the real-life risks. This emotionally charged program, entitled Every 15 Minutes, is an event designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the potentially dangerous consequences of drinking alcohol and texting while driving. This powerful program will challenge students to think about drinking, texting while driving, personal safety, and the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved.

The program involves a “Grim Reaper” who comes into the school and removes students who are represented as having been killed from drunk driving-related accidents, as well as a mock DUI crash, funeral, and presentations by authority figures on the matters of drunk and distracted driving and the effects thereof.

Just last week, students at Newport Harbor High School experienced this emotionally charged simulation. Read about it here.

While there is some debate about the efficacy of scare tactics on teenagers, and criticism that the program may traumatize some students, leaving them resentful of school and law enforcement authorities, the fact remains that automobile-related accidents are the #1 cause of teenage death in America. And one thing we can all agree on: no matter the form or venue it takes, somehow this epidemic must be addressed. We’re sure many would argue if the “Every 15 Minutes” program causes just one teenager to avoid getting behind the wheel drunk, it has served its purpose.

As a top rated Orange County driving school, we are committed to providing the most relevant education, facts, and training necessary to create safe, skilled drivers. Our goal is for the teenagers we instruct to be empowered and equipped with the proper tools and skills, and internally motivated to avoid risky behaviors and to remain safe and cautious behind the wheel.

Tips to Avoid Drunk Driving

Here are a few tips on how to avoid drunk driving:

1. Don’t drink.

Obviously if you’re under 21, it’s illegal anyway. But you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches (literally and figuratively) if you avoid alcohol altogether.

Just one little mistake can jeopardize your future. Getting arrested for DUI or drunk in public, busted by the cops at a house party, or getting carried away by lack of judgment and making a decision you could regret forever. Trust us, it does happen.

Think you need it to fit in? Maybe you need to take inventory of your friendships. Real friends won’t force you to be anyone other than who you are, and they won’t pressure you to violate your conscience. Real friends encourage each other to be the best person they can be – to make wise choices that will benefit them, not harm them.

2. Plan ahead and stay put.

Whether you’re at home, at a party, or at a bar, if you start drinking, stay put. Plan ahead before a night of partying to make sure you have a place to sleep or a designated driver to take you home. With taxis and affordable rides from Lyft and Uber, there’s really no excuse. Don’t drive, period.

If you’re hosting a party, put some blankets and pillows out so people can sleep over. Collect car keys to ensure no one tries to pull a fast one on you. (Judgment is impaired by alcohol, so someone may feel they are okay to drive home when they are not. Or they may become stubborn and obstinate when someone tells them they can’t do something and will set out to “prove them wrong”.)

3. Remember, you’re impaired.

Your judgment will not be accurate when you are drinking alcohol – even if you’re just buzzed. If you’re going to drink, at least be smart enough to know you’re not superhuman and it WILL affect you. Thought processes, judgment and discretion, body functions and reaction time – all are impaired and slowed by alcohol. While you’re still sober, vow with your friends to not let anyone leave the party drunk or buzzed.

Stay safe!

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