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Teens get graphic warning against DUI

March 06, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- The Save A Life Tour stopped at Waynesboro Area Senior High School on Friday morning, bringing with it a graphic and frank message about the dangers of driving under the influence.

Presenter Jeremiah Newson asked students to remember his story before starting the car if they've been drinking. He talked about his father being paralyzed in a DUI accident, then said he personally rolled a car on top of a friend on his prom night.

"I swear to you, if I could take that back, I would," Newson said.

He brought along a casket, images of mutilated bodies and a $2.5 million drunken-driving simulator.

"It really changes how you think about drinking and driving," said Shae Barlup, 15.

Shae was the first student on Friday to experience the driving simulator, which creates video circumstances that mimic an ever-increasing level of intoxication. Shae hit a parked car in the simulator.

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"The car wouldn't turn when you tried," she said. "I thought I'd do a lot better."

Maddie Sellers and Brokklynn Owens said experimentation with alcohol consumption generally starts between ages 16 and 18. Neither knows anyone who has been involved in a DUI crash.

Brokklynn, 14, said she will most remember the Save A Life Tour's graphic images. However, both she and Maddie, 15, explained those images are important to strengthen the message.

"It was scary," Brokklynn said.

Communities That Care raised $17,000 to bring the Save A Life Tour to Waynesboro Area, Shippensburg Area, Fannett-Metal and Tuscarora high schools as well as the Franklin County (Pa.) Career and Technology Center. Waynesboro administrators paused Friday to thank the McCleaf family, owners of Mountain Gate Restaurant, for providing significant financial contributions.

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