WHEN: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Birmingham Charter High School 17000 Haynes Street Van Nuys, Ca 91406 (South Parking Lot on Victory Boulevard)
WHO: LAFD Battalion Chief Hector Hernandez LAPD Captain Andrew Neiman, Commanding Officer, Valley Traffic Division California Highway Patrol Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency.
WHY: “Every 15 Minutes” is a two-day program that challenges high school juniors and seniors to think about the consequences of drinking, personal safety and the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved. The program seeks to provide students with a hard-hitting, realistic dramatization of the aftermath of a fatal alcohol-related car crash.
The title “Every 15 Minutes”, comes from the unfortunate fact that during the early 1980s, every 15 minutes, someone in the United States was killed in an alcohol-related traffic collision. While the implementation of new laws and grassroots programs have helped bring the death rate down to one death every 30 minutes, this figure continues to be unacceptable.
The “Every 15 Minutes” program begins with an outdoor assembly where students witness a dramatization of the aftermath of a fatal alcohol-related collision involving two automobiles. Emergency personnel, including police, fire, paramedics, and the coroner’s office, respond to the crash scene with sirens blaring the crews rapidly get to work on freeing the victims from the automobiles. Emergency responders transport those that are critically injured while others are declared dead and are removed by the coroner. The designated student drunk driver is given a field sobriety test and is arrested for driving under the influence. The dramatization provides convincing overtones as to the loss felt by everyone due to a fatal alcohol-involved collision. Parents even receive a mock death certificate.
At the end of the day, the “living dead” students go to a local hotel to stay overnight to effectively simulate the physical and emotional impact that the students are no longer alive. The program culminates the following day with an assembly featuring the “living dead,” students, their parents, a mock DUI trial and testimonies from relatives of real DUI victims.
CONTACT: For additional information on the event, please contact Valley Traffic Division or Sergeant Marti Whittemore at 818-644-8000.