Students Petition City Council and Police

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Virginia Beach Police Department every year presents the “Every 15 minute” program to students.  This is a nationwide role playing interactive program involving junior and senior high schools.  Students learn the results of their decisions in dealing with teenage drinking, personal safety and making mature decisions when lives are involved.  When Police Chief Jim Cervera attended the program at Salem High School this year, he challenged the students.  The challenge was to petition the police department to increase their efforts in DUI enforcement.  The Salem High School students within two weeks obtained over 1000 signatures.  The same challenge was also presented to Landstown High School.  Landstown felt they could not be outdone by Salem and obtained over 500 signatures.  The signatures included students, faculty and other staff members. 

Representatives from both schools presented the petition to the Virginia Beach City Council on May 22 requesting police increase their efforts in the fight against drunk drivers. 

The letter was addressed to Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera and members of the Virginia Beach City Council.  The petition states: We the students, faculty and staff of Landstown High School (and Salem High School) appreciate the efforts to curb drunk driving in the City of Virginia Beach. Although we appreciate the efforts of the police department, we are asking that the police increase their DUI efforts. Every 40 minutes, someone loses their life from being involved in an alcohol-related car crash. Nationwide, (more than) 12,000 people are killed each year in alcohol-related crashes and in Virginia; we lose (more than) 300 people each year. These types of crashes are 100 percent preventable. It's time to use that to our advantage by making stricter laws about driving while under the influence.    

To view the council meeting video follow the link on