Every 15 Minutes Program; The Dangers of Drunk Driving

The Kennewick Police Department puts on its Annual Every 15 Minutes Assembly at Kamiakin High School, warning students about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Emotions ran high among Kamiakin seniors as they heard stories about drunk drivers killing innocent people.

Students performed a simulated scene of a high school student dying in a car crash after being hit by a drunk driver.

The short play started out at a party, when one student decides to drive home drunk, hitting another car and killing her fellow classmate inside of it.

A mock funeral was put on, as well as a trial, where the student driving was sentenced to life in prison for vehicular homicide.

The assembly concluded with a woman whose son died 17 years ago when their car was hit by a drunk driver going 90 miles per hour in the wrong direction on I-82.

It was hard to find a dry eye in the room.

"I think it affects everybody for years afterwards. So you just need to know that if you drink and drive, you're going to hurt other people too, not just yourself," said Sharon Wendt, a senior at Kamiakin.

In conclusion, more than 20 students stood up to pledge to never drink and drive, asking others to do the same.

Within seconds, every person in the room was standing. 

The Every 15 Minutes program started more than 20 years when a person was killed every 15 minutes because of an impaired driver.

Now, someone dies every 51 minutes because of an impaired driver.

It's an improvement, but law enforement says it's still too much, hoping this program will to continue to lower the number of these preventable deaths.