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'Every 15 Minutes' Drunk Driving Simulation Quiets High Schoolers

Parents, students, and local emergency officials stage a mock fatal crash.

Piedmont high school students will attend a mock memorial service Tuesday for two of their classmates who played the casualties in a simulated drunk driving accident Monday. Piedmont Patch posted live updates to Twitter documenting Monday's dramatization of a crash on Highland Avenue moment-by-moment and will be tweeting the action again Tuesday. 

In a survey conducted last spring, 48 percent of and juniors said they had driven a car when they had been drinking or been in a car driven by a friend when s/he had been drinking. The Every 15 Minutes program was designed by California High Patrol to make teenagers realize the potential consequences of drinking and driving. The first act appeared to make an impact on Piedmont's students. 

The high schoolers who watched the scene unfold from bleachers set up along the curb Monday had arrived with smiles on their faces—many happy for the excuse to get out of class and get outside for the morning. They marched back to campus afterward in near silence. 

9:10 a.m. The fire trucks are rolling from Piedmont station to get into position for #Every15Minutes.

9:23 a.m. At the command post in the gym. It sounds like LMFAO's ode to drunkenness is thumping up in the dance studio. #Every15Minutes

9:30 a.m. About 50 parent volunteers have been involved in putting together the #Every15Minutes drunk driving simulation, some for nearly a year.

9:47 a.m. Walking to the crash site. KGO is interviewing the parent publicity chair. #Every15Minutes

9:51 a.m. A lot of communities stage #Every15Minutes during prom season, but Valerie Corvin says parents wanted to have the impact for the whole year.

9:56 a.m. @Piedmonthigh students are filing onto the bleachers on Highland Avenue. #Every15Minutes

10:00 a.m. Students in white "living dead" face paint are standing stone faced by two crashed cars draped with a blue tarp. #Every15Minutes

10:03 a.m. "Ah, you look so somber", jokes one student as she passes by her classmates playing the living dead. #Every15Minutes

10:11 a.m. Two kids ran away from the crash site. One has been detained. One appears dead. Two more injured. #Every15Minutes SIMULATION.

10:17 a.m. Firefighters and EMTs are at the simulated crash site. One fatality has been declared. A helicopter has been called in. #Every15Minutes

10:22 a.m. The jaws of life are being used to cut a student out of Saab convertible at the crash simulation. #Every15Minutes

10:32 a.m. A PHS student has been carted off in a body bag, another's being strapped to a stretcher at the simulated crash site. #Every15Minutes

10:37 a.m. A student stumbled as he walked the line, is now cuffed and in the back of a squad car at the simulated crash site. #Every15Minutes

10:44 a.m. Firefighters have swept up the simulated crash site. The students are walking back to class much quieter than they came. #Every15Minutes

Bianca Forrester October 04, 2011 at 03:10 PM
Great article thanks Patch!
Lynn Dee October 04, 2011 at 08:59 PM
I think this is an excellent teaching tool. Well done Piedmont High and thank you to all who organized!
Felicia Tudal October 05, 2011 at 04:53 PM
Thank you for this coverage Amy - Thank you especially to the first responders, PHS administrators, PHS Students, and parent volunteers who put in countless hours and many sleepness nights planning and organizing this program. It will be remembered by all of us for many years to come.
Mark McGreevey January 01, 2013 at 09:29 AM
Why teenagers have any access to cars at all is a mystery to me. They can walk, ride bikes, ride public transit or have parents drive them. The problem with places like Piedmont is the sheer abandonment of responsibility by parents, as money seems to cushion their lives. So their kids can drive at 16 in new cars, can order and pay for drinks, when these kids have never earned a dime in their lives. If they had to scrape up some of this disposable income themselves, as kids used to do, or still do in low-income neighborhoods, they would not even own a car until they'd be employed fulltime - in the Piedmont case, after they'd finished years of college. Why should students need a car at all? What parent is so idiotic to give a boy or girl a car when they don't need them at all, then lament the death of these kids? These kids are not only in danger of vehicular manslaughter and DUI arrest, they also have a cavalier attitude towards drugs and drinking. When one considers the likes of Oscar Grant two years ago, high on BART as a single father, late Christmas night, harassing passengers, screaming and yelling, inducing frightened passengers to call the police, then placing newly trained officers in the position of restraining his angry drug/alcohol-induced state to the point that he is dead - this we consider a tragedy. Or? Shall we make a film showing the sad aftereffects of this poor officer's life ruined, when his own newborn son was at home awaiting him?

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