The Virginian-Pilot reported that the driver of the car, also a teenager, was drunk or high on drugs. He was charged with driving under the influence and involuntary manslaughter. The loss of a young life in such circumstances is always tragic, more so because of the presence of alcohol or drugs.
This week Kempsville High School played a part in an event that aims to stop these kinds of tragedies occurring. This award-winning anti-drinking and driving awareness program took place at Kempsville High School on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Every 15 Minutes is a two-day role-playing interactive program involving junior and senior high school students and their parents. Students learned the results of their decisions in dealing with teenage drinking, personal safety, and making mature decisions when lives are involved. Every 15 minutes was given its name because someone dies of an alcohol related accident every 15 minutes.
The Virginia Beach Police Department was taking the exercise seriously. On March 15, 20 preselected students were removed from class by the "Grim Reaper" followed by police officers reading the students' obituaries which were written by their parents to the participants' classes.
And a "mock" driving under the influence crash scene was staged on school grounds where students will view injuries and the death of a student as Police, Fire, and Rescue personnel investigate the scene., said police spokesman Jimmy Barnes.
The program is result of months of coordination by police and fire departments in Virginia Beach, Emergency Medical Services, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney, Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, Kellum-Smith and Williams Funeral Home, the Oceanfront Inn, and GEICO Insurance.
Sadly, the loss of life from alcohol-related car accidents is becoming increasingly common in the Commonwealth. In fact, alcohol-related wrecks increased 3 percent from 2003 to 2008, according to the Virginia DMV. In Virginia Beach, there were 612 car crashes where alcohol played a role in 2008.
Just under 1.5 million people are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol each year. An estimated half of these drivers have suspended licenses. More than half of all accidents on weekends involve drunk driving. Our attorneys are experts in representing victims or the families of victims in DUI cases.
See this video of the Every 15 Minutes campaign.