The South Similkameen Education on Substance Abuse Committe presented “Smashed” to senior Similkameen Elementary Secondary School classes on Monday, December 9.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) representative Jamie Fischer made the presentation, meant to send a strong message about choices young adults can make with respect to impaired driving, a message particularly timely with the Christmas season and its stepped up police roadside checks.
“I’ve seen this presentation more than 100 times, and it’s still hard for me to watch,” Fischer told the youths. Fisher is currently touring the western provinces high schools with the message for young adults to “think twice before making choices regarding drinking and driving.”
The presentation included a 30 minute dramatization of a typical situation young adults could find themselves in, and the tragic consequences that result from bad decisions. The second portion of the presentation included testimony from family members who had lost loved ones to impaired drivers.
“Four people each day are killed, on average, by impaired drivers in Canada,” Fischer said following the presentation. He then the group of his own personal tragedy – the death of his mother to an impaired driver when he was 22.
“It changed my life forever,” he said, “Impaired driving’s impact on life is too hard.
What you just watched was a fictional film, but the reality is, it’s not so fictional.
Impaired driving accidents aren’t accidents – impaired driving can be controlled.
You need to make that decision before you get behind the wheel,” he told the students.
In discussing the film with the students, Fischer noted that the Lower Similkameen lacked a scheduled bus or taxi serivce.
“Here in Kermeos, you have to rely on each other,” he said, “plan ahead, get a designated driver, call a friend or family member.
I watched a presentation like this when I was in grade 10 and I remember thinking back then how this could never happen to me.
It can happen to any one of us.”