The Twin Falls Police Department hosted the emotionally charged program—Every 15 Minutes. The national program is designed to offer real-life experiences to high school students on the dangers of drinking and driving.
The program was held at Canyon Ridge High School on Wednesday, April 24, and will again be held at Twin Falls High School. Because the event is designed to imitate the real-life shock and emotion, the exact dates of the event are not released to students in advance.
Students will be removed from the classroom to simulate a death caused by drinking and driving. At the end of the day, those students who participated in the staged accident as well as those who were made up as the ‘living dead’ will be transported to a local hotel for an overnight student retreat.
The retreat will simulate the separation from friends and family, with a support staff of counselors and police officer facilitating the retreat. A memorial assembly will be staged to represent the grieving process of a friend or loved-one killed in a drunk driving collision.
The Twin Falls Police Department and the Twin Falls Fire Department, along with other emergency responders, will perform a simulated traffic collision at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Canyon Ridge High School.
“We hope that this program will not only teach students about the dangers of drinking and driving, but that it will also help them understand the emotional impact these incidents have on friends, family and other students,” said Dennis Pullin, Staff Sergeant with the Twin Falls Police Department.
The focus of the program is to stress that the decisions to consume alcohol can affect many more people than just the person who drinks. The program is used in more than 100 high schools in the United States and has been proven to prepare students to prevent alcohol related problems, according to data collected by the Child Development Program at California State University, Chico.