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Mock DUI crash will reinforce message of the consequences of DUI

“Every 15 Minutes,” which includes a mock DUI collision and a mock funeral, will take place in Friday Harbor April 22-23. The event reminds people that someone dies in America in a DUI crash once every 15 minutes. Sarah Heeren portrayed an injury victim at the mock funeral on April 25, 2006 in Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church.              - Contributed photo / Ron Garner
“Every 15 Minutes,” which includes a mock DUI collision and a mock funeral, will take place in Friday Harbor April 22-23. The event reminds people that someone dies in America in a DUI crash once every 15 minutes. Sarah Heeren portrayed an injury victim at the mock funeral on April 25, 2006 in Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church.
— image credit: Contributed photo / Ron Garner

The number of drinking and driving crashes is on the rise in San Juan County.

According to San Juan County court records, 44 DUI cases were cases filed in 2004. That number climbed to 61 in 2007 and 94 in 2008. Nineteen DUI cases were filed in the first quarter of 2009.

A program hopes to turn the tide by reinforcing images of the consequences of driving while intoxicated.

Every 15 Minutes will be presented to Friday Harbor High School students today and Thursday. The program involves a mock DUI crash and the events that occur after a real event.

“Approximately every 15 minutes, a person dies in an alcohol-related motor vehicle collision,” said Lainey Volk, San Juan EMS education director and injury prevention officer.

Nationwide poll results show that students participating in the Every 15 Minutes program are less likely to drive or ride in a motor vehicle if alcohol is involved.

The local Every 15 Minutes program is funded by the San Juan Island Community Foundation, North Region EMS Family & Trauma Council, United Way, family foundations and private donors. Visit www.every15minutes.com.

Every 15 Minutes participants
— Airlift Northwest
— Compass Health counselors
— EarthBox Motel & Spa
— Elan Video
— Evans Funeral Chapel & Crematory
— Friday Harbor High School and San Juan Island School District
— Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church
— Inter-Island Medical Center
— Island Towing
— Lakedale Resort
— Printonyx
— Roche Harbor Village
— San Juan County courts
— San Juan County Sheriff’s Department
— San Juan Island EMS
— San Juan Island Fire Department Rescue Team
— San Juan Island Prevention Coalition
— San Juan Transit
— Soroptimists
— Spring Street International School
— Town of Friday Harbor Fire Department
— Vinny’s Restaurant
— and Citizens of Friday Harbor and San Juan Island.

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