7On your side: Realistic crash video promotes good choices - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

7On your side: Realistic crash video promotes good choices

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 Our 7On your side report usually focuses on scams and consumer issues, but in this edition we depart from our usual-- with a topic that's critical to a consumer's well being financially, physically and emotionally.

The topic is distracted and impaired driving which can cause financial disaster for those who make bad choices.

The Acadia Parish Sheriff's Department has produced a video aimed at helping people make good choices.

Around the end of school, many organizations stage mock crashes to give young people a sense of the tragedy of impaired driving.  But the Acadia Parish Sheriff's Department has taken  it a step further with the creation of a video that delves beyond the flashing lights, sirens and chaos of an accident scene.

Acadia Public Information Officer Maxine Trahan says,  like most places, they've seen tragedy from impaired or distracted driving. 

"In Acadia Parish we've lost a lot of youth to death, death of their own or causing death of others," she said.  

But the video isn't just for youth.  It has messages for adults too.

"We felt that it was important that we educate so many parents  think it's okay to have a party.  Let the kids bring their own alcohol  and consume it.  That's a bad problem here in Acadia Parish," said Trahan.
The video shows actors portraying parents who provide alcohol to underage young people. Ultimately it shows the consequences for parents in court.

In the dramatization a judge tells the guilty parent, "The court is entering an award for the victim's parents in the amount of $400,000."
Trahan says their objective is to educate young people and adults about the consequences of impaired or distracted driving and how bad choices have a life long impact.

"So many programs, they'll only stage an accident.  What happens?  What happens to the family, the grieving family? What happens to the student that caused the harm to the family? The students need to realize that you may be a high school student, getting ready to start your life.  If this happens to you, there's no life to start," said Trahan.

The realistic video shows not only the tragedy of death and injury, and the heart break for parents who lose a child, but also, how young people's dreams are shattered when court sentences are imposed for impaired driving.

The drama includes judges sentencing first a young man who drove drunk and must now face the consequences.

"For the vehicular homicide of Sarah D. I sentence you to serve ten years at hard labor," says the actor judge.

And a teenage girl stands before a judge for texting while driving.

"Allison David, you made the choice on March 18, 2014 to pick up your cell phone while you were driving a car," says the judge in the dramatization.

The educational video is aimed at teaching the dangers of impaired or distracted driving is called Acadia Parish Choices 2014.  

Individuals or groups can purchase the video from the Acadia Sheriff's office for $15.

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