Prologue

Every fifteen minutes, someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-related traffic crash, whether they are the drunk driver or an innocent passenger. Teenagers have an 'invincibility complex' - that thought of "It will never happen to me." As a result, the videos and victim testimonies are no longer as effective as they once were. More schools across the country are taking part in a dramatic, shocking, graphic two-day program called "Every Fifteen Minutes" that gets the message across.

I participated in this program at my former high school (I've graduated and am in college now) in May 2009, and recently re-watched our DVD. Watching the DVD and looking at the pictures again inspired me to write about my experience as a victim.


"Every fifteen minutes, someone in the United States is killed by drunk driving."

I looked away from the information sheet that I had been handed, and up at the uniformed police officer standing in front of me. "Yes, I'm interested. I'd love to help."

Officer Sarah Bodi nodded, tucking a stray strand of her short dark hair behind her ear as she opened a manila folder and made a note in it. "We'll be back tomorrow at 11:40. There will be a lunch meeting in the student service office, and you'll get more details then." She glanced at the clock. "Now, get to class."

"Yes, ma'am." We both smiled. I picked up my backpack and merged into the flood of students in the hallway. Officer Bodi turned back to her folder and continued writing.