Every 15 Minutes - Anti-Drinking and Driving Awareness Program

​The Virginia Beach Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit in coordination with the City of Virginia Beach Public Schools conducts an anti-drinking and driving awareness program called "EVERY 15 MINUTES."  The program is designed as an interactive two-day event that will educate high school students by identifying problems associated with their driving, socializing, and alcohol related activities. It is the intent of this program to help the individual student understand that their behavior has a rippling effect on those around them: family, friends, classmates, etc. The program's name was derived from the fact that every fifteen minutes in the United States at least one person is killed as a result of an alcohol related incident to include alcohol related traffic crashes.

Overview

On the first day, the program begins as the "Grim Reaper" removes one student from class "EVERY 15 MINUTES", during the first half of15 minutes grim reaper the day. These students will then be escorted to a make-up room and dressed up as the "Living Dead", while police officers enter the classroom and read their obituary. The student's parents will simultaneously receive a mock death notification from police at their homes or place of employment. The "Living Dead" students will be returned to class after having been made up, but will not interact with other classmates for the remainder of the day.

15 (1).jpgDuring the lunch period, a staged DUI accident will be held on campus. This collision will involve three or four students, emergency personnel including police, fire and rescue, as well as personnel from Smith and Williams Funeral Home.

At the end of the day, students will be taken to a local retreat for overnight lodging in order to effectively simulate that the student is "gone." The students will participate in various activities during the evening including tours of a trauma facility, the city jail, and a mock DUI trial held in the Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. The students will be treated to dinner at a local restaurant and will have the opportunity to interact with guest speakers and chaperones about their real life experiences with alcohol related incidents. During the evening, parents and students will prepare letters to each other relating feelings that have not been shared.

On the second day, the "Living Dead" will be returned to school and will take part in a school assembly. During the assembly, the local area response teams, law enforcement personnel, school staff, parents and the students themselves will give presentations. One parent and their child read letters they had written to each other expressing how they feel as if the child had been killed in an alcohol-related car accident.

The most significant thought we wish to impress upon the students is the importance of acknowledging the fact that alcohol doesn't hurt just those who drink, but too often the innocent are the victims as well.

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