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Gory Facts Of Driving DUI – Every 15 Minutes

Posted on 27 April 2007 by Monica Zech

A serious act: Gory details aim to deter students from driving while drunk by
Joshua Palmer
The Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho
April 27, 2007

Apr. 27 – TWIN FALLS – He was too drunk to walk, let alone drive.

But Marcus Schaal, a senior at Twin Falls High School, didn’t realize his mistake until it was too late.

When he regained consciousness he noticed that Matt Hanchey, who was riding in the passenger seat, had been thrown through the windshield and onto the hood of the car. He was covered in blood and Schaal couldn’t get him to wake up.

When Schaal lumbered out ofhis vehicle he saw two girls sitting motionless inside the car he had slammed into.

It was a nightmare, but fortunately it was only an act.

The act was part of an event Thursday afternoon at Twin Falls High School to remind students about the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol.

“Each year we do something called “Every 15 Minutes, “which is recognized all over Idaho and other states to remind us that basically every 15 minutes someone is killed in a drunk-driving accident, ” said Abby McNeley, student body vice president. “But this year we decided to do something different and show students how fast drinking and driving can take someone’s life.”

The scene was acted out by Twin Falls High School seniors as well as Twin Falls police and fire departments. A Life Flight helicopter was even called in to carry away one of the ‘injured’ passengers.

Despite the real-life props andspecial effects, nobody could overlook the gruesome detail of the scene.

“That was intentional because, in a way, we want this to have some shock value,” said Staff Sgt. Dennis Pullin. “Senior graduation is coming up soon, and we hope that they will know how real this can be.”

For some students, the sight of a peer lying ‘dead’ on the hood of a car seemed a little exaggerated, but for others it was an awakening to the dangers of driving while under the influence. However, most students seemed to grasp the significance of the scene when Schaal was handcuffed and driven away in the back of a police car.

“It definitely changed the way I thought about things like this,” said Chelsea Abramowski, a senior at Twin Falls High school. “I think it was really a good experience for us — especially because we will have prom soon and it might change some people’s minds about drinking and driving.”

Times-News writer Joshua Palmer covers education. He can be reached at jpalmer@magicvalley.com or at (208) 420-0526.

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