Array

Drunk driving film hits home with students

The tragedy of impaired driving hit home on Tuesday for River Glen and Hunting Hills high school students during screenings of Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s new movie.

The tragedy of impaired driving hit home on Tuesday for River Glen and Hunting Hills high school students during screenings of Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s new movie.

The 42-minute film Long Weekend is part of MADD’s new national awareness campaign.

The film features families talking in detail about the deaths of loved ones. Among them are family members of Brad and Krista Howe, a Red Deer couple killed in 2010 by convicted drunk driver Chad Mitchell Olsen. Krista’s sister Karla and two of the couple’s children, MacKenzie and Cory, speak about the deadly collision’s aftermath.

“You’re just in such oblivion. I miss them all the time,” recounts MacKenzie, who then breaks into tears.

The sister of Ontario 16-year-old Katelynn Porter tells of how a good friend who’d been drinking lost control of the truck her sister rode in.

“You don’t think someone from your core friend group is going to hurt you. You’re not supposed to see your sister in her coffin.”

Such statements’ emotional impact, coupled with jarring collision scene photos and a fictional story of a drunk teen who causes a collision, crippling his girlfriend and killing himself and another driver, are designed to show teens the consequences of impaired driving.

“Your choices can change the world around you,” explained Denise Dubyk, MADD’s national president, to the River Glen students. “You can contribute to the change of stopping impaired driving.”

The Calgary woman, who lost her son-in-law to an impaired driver, said more than a million youth in Grades 7 to 12 will see Long Weekend. She stressed how the movie deals with the subject of choice.

“These are not accidents. Someone chooses to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

Blake Reichert of Allstate Insurance, a national sponsor of MADD for nearly 25 years, echoed Dubyk.

“We sincerely believe in what this film will do for teens and help them to make good decisions.”

The message got through to Aleisha Yews.

“I couldn’t myself think of even going through that,” said the 16-year-old River Glen student.

“If you’ve been drinking, never get behind the wheel yourself. Don’t let your friends do it. Do everything you can to stop it.”

For some students, the film’s impact was so great that they sought out Dubyk after for meaningful, though brief, counselling. She said the loss of a family member from impaired driving lasts a lifetime.

“Nothing in life will ever train you for that grief and devastation. To never have said goodbye or to say hello again is tragic.”

rfiedler@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Police say someone fired paintballs at people outside drug consumption site in Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Police in southern Alberta are investigating after they say… Continue reading

Is federal carbon tax killing jobs? Experts say answer isn’t ‘black and white’

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government says the federal carbon tax is killing… Continue reading

New book assesses Trudeau government’s record of living up to pledges

OTTAWA — A new book arriving on the eve of the federal… Continue reading

Walk raises awareness, money for overdose awareness in Red Deer

More than 90 people gathered in Red Deer to break the stigma… Continue reading

Ponoka RCMP looking for missing man

Ponoka RCMP is asking the public to help find a man who… Continue reading

WATCH: Snakes, lizards and more at the Western Canadian Reptile Expo in Red Deer

The 10th annual Western Canadian Reptile Expo is this weekend in Red… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Tuesday and Sept. 3 The Tony Connelly Singers provide an opportunity to… Continue reading

Extinction bites: countries agree to protect sharks and rays

GENEVA — Countries have agreed to protect more than a dozen shark… Continue reading

Trudeau and Trump hold face to face meeting on sidelines of G7 summit

BIARRITZ, France — Justin Trudeau met face-to-face with U.S. President Donald Trump… Continue reading

Study reveals new details of overseas Cold War intelligence effort by Canadians

OTTAWA — Canada enlisted citizens who travelled to Communist countries during the… Continue reading

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

BIARRITZ, France — As leaders of the now-fractious Group of Seven countries… Continue reading

Central Alberta Bucs fall to Calgary Wolfpack in crazy AFL Championship game

The Central Alberta Buccanneers came up just short in pursuit of their… Continue reading

Regina police officer charged with impaired driving after hit-and-run

Regina police say a member of the force has been charged after… Continue reading

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

OTTAWA — Samantha Reusch is aiming to help young Canadians identify misinformation… Continue reading

Most Read