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PALMA

A Sobering Look at Drunk Driving

April 15, 1998|VANESSA DeRUYTER

There was a bloody car crash and body bags, police and paramedics and tears for wasted lives and dreams.

The scene, although a dramatization, seemed real enough for students at Kennedy High School on Tuesday as they participated in a statewide program aimed at showing--in elaborate detail--the dangers of drinking and driving.

"The program is very intense," La Palma Police Officer John Dehaan said.

Known as "Every 15 Minutes," the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control program helps students understand the finality of death, and how one bad choice can bring a great deal of pain to many people, organizers said. The program's title comes from statistics showing that intoxicated drivers claim a life about every 15 minutes in the United States.

Targeted for 11th- and 12th-graders, the program includes staged car accidents, drunk driving arrests, funerals and the writing of obituaries. Parents are called, and students are taken to the hospital, Police Department or mortuary, depending on the role they play.

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