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Columbia High School students stress the importance of not drinking and driving as graduation approaches

Posted at 4:22 PM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-01 18:22:06-04

NAMPA, Idaho — Student leadership and Nampa and Canyon County first responders coordinated together to put on an "Every 15 Minutes" production illustrating the consequences of drunk driving to Columbia High School upperclassmen.

  • Students are weeks away from graduation and senior proms.
  • Columbia High was recently affected by impaired driving when a student was hit by a drunk driver.
  • ITD says that, in 2022, Canyon County saw three impaired driving accidents from 15-19-year-olds with no fatalities.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Columbia High School upperclassmen filled the football stands Wednesday morning - weeks away from graduation ceremonies and parties

"Here in Nampa there's a lot of different versions you can look at of parties here," says 12 grader Ysabel Gonzaleez "The population is growing more and more with teenagers our age so with the drinking and driving, it could get out of hand,"

"You could know where your kid is but you don't know what they're doing there and in a matter of seconds you're not just impacting yourself but so many people around you," said 11th grader Maddie Lowe.

Dozens of students and numerous first responder agencies were involved in Columbia's "Every 15 Minutes" production enacting the worst possible outcome of a night partying.

"It's not just going to affect their family or whose around them, it's going to affect everyone in our community," added Lowe.

The Columbia High community was affected just this year when a student was hit by a drunk driver.

Columbia Vice Principal Nick Stern told me, "This happened to one of our kids and to see him get hurt and really injured and come to school in a wheelchair, with a cane, and he's finally to a point where he's walking. It's really impacted our community here at Columbia."

Every 15 minutes was the national average rate of an alcohol-related crash in the 90s when the program began. I contacted the Idaho Transportation Department to find out some local numbers for high school-aged students.

In 2022, 207 people aged 15-19 were involved in fatal or serious injury crashes. In Ada County, one impaired driving fatality was reported for teenagers in seven accidents. For Canyon County, three impaired driving accidents with no fatalities.

Coordinating together the Nampa Police Department, Nampa Fire Department, Canyon County Paramedics, Life Flight, and coroner worked with students to put on the production.

"Our teacher brought it to our attention in December and our group felt passionate about it," said 11th grader Kimberly Gonzaleez.

"Especially in light of prom and graduation for our seniors, we really wanted to stress the impact drunk driving has on the lives of so many," concluded sophomore Julia Adams.