Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that
teenage drinking and driving has decreased by 54% since 1991, still, 1
in 10 high school students drink and drive.
According to the CDC, drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 are 17 times
more likely to die in a crash if they have a blood alcohol concentration
(BAC) of .08% as compared to driving sober. Here’s one way that
local schools are taking the matter into their own hands.
What is the Every 15 Minutes program?
Every 15 Minutes is a nationwide program that was created by a police officer
to do something about the teenage drunk driving epidemic in America. In
the early 1990s, every 15 minutes in the United States someone died in
an alcohol-related collision, which is how the program got its name.
The Youth Center found out about the program and began implementing it
at Los Alamitos High School.
Today, the Youth Center collaborates with Los Alamitos H.S., the Los Alamitos
Police Department, the Orange County Fire Authority, the Orange County
Jail, the California Highway Patrol, the Orange County Sheriff’s
Department, and numerous other agencies and businesses.
Every 15 Minutes is a Dramatic Reenactment
The philosophy of the program is that life’s lessons are best learned
through “experience,” hence the program offers real-life experience
without involving real-life risks. The emotionally-charged program challenges
students to think about the emotional and financial impact of drinking
On the first day, one student is removed from class every 15 minutes; a
police officer enters the classroom and reads an obituary written by the
“dead” student’s parents. Meanwhile, uniformed officers
make mock death notifications of the deceased children at their parents’
home, work, or business.
At lunch, a simulated car accident occurs on school grounds. Rescue workers
arrive at the scene, treating injured participants, giving the students
firsthand experience of being involved in an alcohol-related crash. The
- How fatalities are handled at the scene.
- Students are extricated using Jaws of Life tools by fire fighters.
- Paramedics, police officers and coroners arrive at the scene.
- The student “drunk driver” is arrested and booked.
- Student participants are taken to the hospital emergency room, morgue,
and jail to be booked for “drunk driving.”
- Students are transported to the County Courthouse to participate in a mock trial.
- Students experience a holding cell (drunk tank).
- Students select a casket for a loved one killed in a drunk driving crash.
- The following day, a mock funeral is held at the high school.
ABC7 News reported that students at Rancho Santa Margarita Catholic High
School received an Every 15 Minutes demonstration on Wednesday, May 13,
organized by Friends Against Drinking and Driving (FADD) and the Orange
County Fire Authority.
Is your teenager facing DUI charges? Contact the
Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc
. to work with an Orange County DUI Attorney that is Board Certified in