SOURCE: MADD Canada

MADD Canada

October 14, 2016 06:30 ET

Newfoundland and Labrador Students See How Impaired Driving Can Destroy Lives In the Blink of an Eye

MOUNT PEARL, NL--(Marketwired - October 14, 2016) - MADD Canada and Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) are teaming up to save young lives with a program to educate students about the dangers and consequences of impaired driving.

MADD Canada's 2016-2017 School Assembly Program, titled In the Blink of an Eye, began its provincial tour in September. A special screening to highlight this year's program is being hosted by MADD Canada and NLC at O'Donel High School today.

In the Blink of an Eye tells the story of best friends Gabby and Sarah. One night, as the girls prepare to go to a party, they are joined by Sarah's boyfriend Dylan, and his friend Asif. Sarah drinks and smokes pot with Dylan and Asif, while Gabby declines. Dylan, anxious to get to the party, decides to drive rather than wait for a cab. His friends strongly object and refuse to get in the car. A very upset Sarah calls 911 to report Dylan, while Asif walks Gabby home. Even though Gabby, Asif and Sarah all do the right thing, a tragic twist of fate ends a friendship abruptly and ruins many lives. And it all happens in the blink of an eye.

"With road crashes being the number one cause of death among young people in Canada, and with more than half of those deaths involving alcohol and/or drugs, it is absolutely crucial to educate youth about these risks, and empower them to make safe choices to protect themselves and one another," said MADD Canada National President Patricia Hynes-Coates. "With its realistic scenarios and storylines targeted specifically to today's youth, MADD Canada's School Assembly Program is a dynamic and effective educational tool."

NLC is a long-time supporter of MADD Canada and its School Assembly Program. As a Corporate Sponsor, NLC is directly sponsoring 10 presentations at schools around the province this year.

"The Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation are very pleased to partner with MADD Canada's School Assembly Program, In the Blink of an Eye," said Craig Hapgood, Manager of Operations, Regulatory Compliance for NLC. "It sends a critical message to the youth of our province about impaired driving."

In addition to the fictional storyline in In the Blink of an Eye, the presentation also features emotional real-life accounts of victims of impaired driving. In fact, it is the victim testimonials that have the most lasting impact on students. This year's program tells the stories of:

  • Dean "DJ" Hancock
    DJ Hancock was on his way home from a hockey tryout when his car was struck head-on by an impaired driver who crossed the centre line. DJ's parents arrived on the scene minutes later. He was breathing when his parents got there, but died as he was lifted from the mangled car.
  • Jackie Dionne
    Jackie and Kevin Clements were passengers in a car driven by a friend who was impaired by alcohol and drugs. The impaired driver lost control and crashed into a ditch. The driver and another passenger were treated for injuries and released. Jackie was killed instantly and Kevin died the next day. Jackie had a toddler son, Jayden.
  • Mackenzie Fragoso
    Mackenzie was riding in a car with her dad, David Fragoso, and step-mother, Charlotte Patterson, when they were hit head-on by an impaired driver who crossed the centre line. David and Charlotte were killed. Seriously injured, 12-year-old Mackenzie was pulled from the burning vehicle seconds before it exploded.

To see a clip from In the Blink of an Eye, please visit our School Assembly Program page in the Youth Services section on the MADD Canada web site at www.madd.ca.

Evidence shows that MADD Canada's strategies to reach young people are working. In a 2015-2016 survey of students who saw that year's School Assembly Program, titled 24 Hours: 80% of respondents said the program was effective in delivering its message about not driving while impaired; two-thirds of respondents said the presentation will be effective in changing behaviours regarding impaired driving; and 97% of respondents supported a similar presentation the following year.

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