Every 15 minutes: Mock crash seeks to alert students to DWI dangers

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By Carol A. Clark

Underage drinking was addressed head-on this morning in front of Los Alamos High School. In anticipation of prom night and graduation, LAHS Student Council in conjunction with the Los Alamos County DWI Program, conducted the nationally recognized Every 15 Minutes program with a staged crash scene.

“I’ve seen a lot of scenarios like this that were real – especially around prom,” said Lt. Steve Branch, who’s been with the Los Alamos Fire Department for 21 years. “Death is sad and it affects the young and everyone around them.”

LAHS Principal Grace Brown watched the scene with a somber face.

“The immediate effect is to have students stop and think about drinking and driving, and the consequences of doing that with prom coming up Saturday – and graduation after that,” she said. “Those are the times kids tend to get careless.”

Statistics indicate that every 15 minutes someone in the United States is killed in an alcohol-related crash, said Coordinator David Sims of the County DWI Program. Nationally, almost 40 percent of fatal alcohol-related crashes involve teenagers, he said.

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