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May 21, 2010 > High school students learn the consequences of drunk driving

High school students learn the consequences of drunk driving

By Ritu Jha

Every 15 minutes someone across the country is killed by a drunk driver. To bring home the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol to the high school students, the City of Milpitas and Milpitas Unified School District organized a workshop last week called, "Every 15 Minutes." The program addresses alcohol abuse and driving and raises awareness about the consequences of alcohol consumption. 17 High School students participated in the two-day event held on Wednesday, May 12 and Thursday, May 13.

Vice Mayor, Pete McHugh asked students not to drink and drive or get into the car of a person who has been drinking. "These are outgoing students, we want them to make correct choices," said Ken Schlaff, Principal, Milpitas High School. Sergeant Daryl Sequeira, Milpitas Police Department said the program is more important around this time of the year when students graduate and celebrate.

It is the first time the Milpitas Police Department organized an anti-drinking event for the high school students. The workshop was divided into two parts. The first part consisted of teenagers being removed from a classroom by the "Grim Reaper" at 15-minute intervals; they return as "living dead," forbidden to speak with their classmates for the remainder of the day. Participants were also taken to the local hospital's trauma center and the morgue.

On the second day of the event the students, teachers, police officers and parents participated in a mock funeral held at the Milpitas High School auditorium. Diana Orlando, mother of one of the participants in the anti-drinking event, said even though it was not real, but she could not stop crying when she saw her daughter in the hospital. Her daughter, Emily, said the event was emotional and educative. "I will always think of the consequences of driving under the influence and will remain sober." Another parent Dolores Manriquez, whose son Anthony Duran participated in the workshop said, "The cops knocked at my door and though it was not real, it made me feel so real." Anthony Duran said for him the workshop was a big wake up call.

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