Spring Break Alcohol Prevention

Harris County is one of the most populated counties in the United States. It also has more drunk driving deaths per capita than any other county. With spring break around the corner, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Houston Police Department are launching an effort at area high schools to remind young people about the dangers of drinking and driving. Pat Hernandez has more.

Students at Spring Woods High School will notice a mangled Mazda Miata at the main entrance to the campus this morning. It's what's left of a head-on collision that claimed the life of the driver, and caused by a pick-up driver who had been drinking.

 

Bridget Anderson is executive director of MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving of the Southeast Region. She says students will see a sequence of larger-than-life photos of people from the Houston area who were killed by drunk drivers.

 

"Its very overwhelming for these kids to see all these pictures, then we're gonna show the "Jackie" video, the young girl that, two of her friends were killed. We also have a victim's mother, who's son was killed at Westheimer and Shepherd."

Meet Carol Levin:

"My youngest son Todd Levin and his soon to be fiancé were killed by a drunk driver, speeding, going about 84-miles an hour. Todd was killed instantly, Rae Lynn was killed on the way to the hospital. Todd was 26-years old and Rae Lynn was 29."

She says she will speak this morning to keep the memory of her son and his fiancé alive.

"We're trying to make a difference and show people that this just can't happen."

car crashAlso speaking this morning is Houston Police Officer Paul LaSalle with the Dept's DWI Task Force. He says teen drivers represent about 7-percent of drivers nationwide, but they make up about 15 percent of fatalities on the road.

"We recognize the fact that judgment is one of the deficits to a younger driver. Now we're talking about adding alcohol into the equation, and everything just grows exponentially."

He will detail both the legal consequences of being arrested for a DUI as well as what to expect during a "no refusal" blood draw, booking and overnight stay in jail.

"I can't tell you how many times I've had somebody in my back seat that said...I JUST NEVER THOUGHT I'D BE HERE. Well, that's the problem, is they never thought about being there. We want them to think abut that before they have something to drink and get in an automobile, instead of after they've been drinking."

car crashFour additional events will be held this week at three other high schools and the University of Houston. Once again, Bridget Anderson with MADD.

"We're hoping to make an impression as much as we possibly can, of what could happen to them. We're also gonna hand zip lock bags out to each one, and they're gonna be asked to put their wallet and personal belongings in it, and at the end when they stand up with these bags I'm going to say to them "this is the last thing your parents will ever receive from you."

More information can be found at www.madd.org/takethewheel or by calling 1-800-GET-MADD.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...