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Learn about driving dangers involving driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
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Female Speaker: Hopefully you are becoming a better driver everyday, but no matter how good you are, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol negates everything you have ever learned. You are no longer able to make the same smart decisions you do on a daily basis. You lose your faculties, which may end up causing you to lose control of your vehicle and your life.
Just like you, Adam, Kim and Molly have heard a lot about the bad things drugs and alcohol can do, from teachers, parents and other organizations. You all know that driving drunk can kill. But in this program we are going to touch on the wide spectrum of bad things that can happen as a result of drugs and alcohol. Sadly, more than 2,000 teens are killed every year due to drunk driving.
Although knowing statistics like this is important. Statistics alone aren't powerful enough to defeat drunk driving incidence. I asked you all to come here to show you a few videos and discuss issues regarding drugs and alcohol.
I know you've got a lot of people talking to you about this, but I want you to get some information from a few sources you may not have heard from. Let's get started.
Corporal Jon Parrish: Get to think so you can just smoke one join, and everything will be okay, or I can just drink one beer and that's okay, is wrong, because everybody is going to stretch things to the limit.
Tom Bitter: In November of 1994, my 17 year old son Jason was killed by a drunk driver.
Corporal Jon Parrish: You name a drug addict that a person does not, and I can guarantee that it's not going effect their driving. There's all kinds out there, people think it is something minor, marijuana won't harm you, but I have seen a lot of accidents out there that marijuana did contribute to that accident in one way shape or form.
Tom Bitter: Jason and a friend of his Dina Corey was killed by a drunk driver who had a Blood alcohol content of 0.36.
Male Speaker: Alright the reason I stopped Jerry, no inspector, you weren't driving on the right hand side of the road, you were kind of going into the other lane with a couple of beers. Hey, why don't you go and step out of the car for me, I just want to do a couple of tests, to make sure you are okay to drive.
Corporal Jon Parrish: Missouri also has what we call Zero Tolerance Law for minors. If you are under 21 and you have a Blood alcohol content of 0.02 or more, you will lose your license.
Male Speaker: I want you to take 9 heel to toe steps, okay, along this line, just like this, okay?
Tom Bitter: The guy who killed those kids crossed the center line, because of his advanced state of intoxication, and ran into the kids who didn't have a chance to even avoid the crash.
Corporal Jon Parrish: I have seen people's head popped opened, brain matter on the ground, hands, hands cut-off, some of the goriest stuff.
Tom Bitter: I thought that I could just about fix anything, and I couldn't fix this. This was one thing I couldn't make new again.
Corporal Jon Parrish: You could be looking at the misdemeanor, in Missouri, first time offense, you could be looking at up to a one year in jail. Third offense makes it a felony, so you are looking at a minimum one year in jail.
If you compound that conviction with something to the effect of an assault, re-causing an accident, hurt somebody, even if it's one of your friend that might be in your vehicle, it's still assault. To kill somebody, it's manslaughter ,at least in Missouri, other states may call it murder, which is basically what it is. Even though you know you don't intend to, that's basically what you are doing, if you cause an accident, and you are drunk.
Male Speaker: So what I might do, I might place you under arrest for DWI. So an easy going, turn around put your hands behind your back, okay.
Tom Bitter: I wasn't drunk driving offender, I was just like many parents are. I wasn't what you would can call a hard core offender, but I did drive under the influence more times and I am really, you know really ashamed to say that, it was quite a few times.
The only thing that changed my mind is seeing my son's corpse in a box, and that kind of shook me up, and it may be take another look at what I was doing as a drunk driving offender. I was putting other families at risk of going through what my family went through.
Male Speaker: And then you prior have to call some one, come post your bond. Just to make sure for nothing is wrong, I am going to have to search you, alright.
Corporal Jon Parrish: Have somebody come and get you if you have something to drink. Hopefully you don't do drug, if you done drug may be hopefully got somebody come and pick you up. But don't drive, sleep it off and then get up next morning to go home. It's better to go home safe than not get home at all.
I am sure you kids, parents of the kids out there they may complain that, they got to come pick them up at 3 in the morning, but they rather do that than have one of us knocking on the door and tell them that their son or daughter has been killed in an accident. I had to do it too many times, and the first time I had to do, it was, that was too many.
Tom Bitter: What I try to get through when I do my public speaking engagements, is to let them know that I was not much different than those who do offend, and it took a terrible tragedy for me to change my mind.
So I am hoping that through my experience and through the legacy of Jason's death, that parents understand that it can happen in a flash. It's not just deaths but it's hideous injuries that victims of drunk driving crashes sustain.
Female Speaker: So what did you guys think, Adam?
Adam: Well, I thought the father's story was very persuasive.
Molly: Yeah, it's touching pictures of someone of our age, like a son knowing that they were killed by something so foolish.
Kim: That has to be a parent's worse nightmare.
Adam: You could really tell that it hurts him to admit that he used to drive drunk himself.
Kim: The problem is, it takes something so tragic to change a person's beliefs. If his son had never been killed, he'd probably still be driving drunk on a regular basis without thinking about the consequences.
Female Speaker: You are right, part of the problem is that people don't take action until tragedy strikes their family.
Morly: But I think we can learn a lot from this man's story. He could easily have fallen into some sort of depression and just given up, instead, he is taking action and trying to prevent others from facing what he had to face.
Molly: Yeah, you got to give him credit for that.
Adam: The fact is that most teens they don't think it can happen to us. We think we are invincible.
Kim: Right, but we never think about the other consequences. How embarrassed would you be if you got caught driving drunk? Plus my parents would take everything away from me, I have no life
Female Speaker: You bring up the great point Kim. You are talking about the other costs of driving under the influence. Every two minutes there is a non-fatal accident caused by someone driving under the influence. Just because these accidents are non fatal, it doesn't mean that drivers don't pay for it.
Female Speaker: Let me show you guys another short video of a couple of people I talked to about driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Sgt. Al Nothum: Some of the monetary cost of being arrested for DWI (Driving while intoxicated) is having your vehicle towed, which is very expensive and then you have to get it out the impound. There is attorney fees involved, most people do not represent themselves, and I would recommend getting a lawyer.
Sam Alton: It's a pay for an attorney, for the first driving offense, would be any where from $2,500 to $ 5,000. For the second offense, from where I am from, it would be any where from $5,000, on. For the third offense, it would be more than $5,000 or probably more than $7,500, because you were dealing with a very serious allegation.
Pam Thornton: Whether you are able to get your attorney to get the charges reduced, it won't matter to an insurance company. They look at it just the same as if you are convicted of an alcohol related offense.
Any time there is alcohol involved, while you were driving, an insurance company considers that a high risk driving, and the same thing is going to happen to you as if you were charged with the DWI.
Sgt. Al Nothum: It is possible for teens to lose their drivers license for driving under the influence of alcohol. That really depends on the court system and the judges, they make those final decisions.
Sam Alton: You want to give people who have their first violation when you are not an adult yet, every chance to rehabilitate yourself and not get in trouble again and be able to drive, and work, and go to school.
But your first offense, make no mistake, the judges take it very seriously, and they will tag any minor, who gets the first DWI with a fine, with probation, and you are going to have your driving privileges suspended for some period of time. The question is how much? Depending on whether it's your first offense or second offense.
Pam Thornton: If some one in their household has a DWI, especially a teen, is the whole family's insurance can be canceled or triple, it's not just the teen's insurance.
Many companies, if there is a teen in the household will cancel the insurance of everyone in the household, or require that that teen not be allowed to drive any of the vehicles in the household. They must sign a waiver to say that that person would drive any of the vehicles in the household for them to continue to insure the rest of the family.
Sam Alton: On every application, it doesn't just say whether you have the conviction in your record any more, it asks you whether you've ever had to plead guilty or been found guilty basically of any criminal offense. Be assured that the DWI driving offense is considered a criminal offense.
What can happen? It can effect your ability to get student loans, it can effect your ability to get admitted to a certain college, it can effect your ability to get a job.
Pam Thornton: The insurance rate of a minor, who gets charged with the DWI, generally will at least double. It can as much as triple or quadruple depending on other incidents that the minor might have.
Sgt. Al Nothum: You can bet that you will pay a stiff penalty and you will be tied if you kill someone, why you are drinking and driving?
Female Speaker: That probably gave you a different perspective than you are used to, right.
Molly: For the most part, I've just been just told about the tragic side of it, you know, the death and pain of loved ones. While it's effective, I think kids our age need to be involved in discussions about the other costs talked about in this video.
We don't think anything terrible can happen to us, but we need to know that even if the worst doesn't happen, we are still in a lot of trouble.
Kim: Yes, like the Zero Tolerance. If I am pulled over with any trace of alcohol in my breath, or in my blood. How am I going to afford the fines and court costs? The money I make over the summer would never cover that. It's just not worth it.
Adam: Exactly! Our parents would have to pay our fines, and we'd be working it off forever, not to mention the embarrassment of having to face them after doing something so stupid.
Female Speaker: Plus you run the risk of losing your license, so now you know the other costs of acting so foolish and getting behind the wheel drunk. But you know how alcohol and other drugs effects our bodies and our ability to drive?
Kim: That's because the alcohol gets into our blood and effects our judgments.
Molly: Definitely, it also effects our visionary reaction time, right? I mean, once you have alcohol in your system, you begin to lose concentration and your reflexes become slower.
Female Speaker: Exactly, the addition of alcohol and other drugs into your blood stream makes it more difficult to react appropriately when driving. You lose depth perception, so don't brake as early as you should, and your vision becomes blurred, making it more difficult to follow the road and react to other vehicles around you.