La Porte EMS, in conjunction with the La Porte Independent School District helps conduct a powerful biannual DWI awareness program for the La Porte High School juniors and seniors called Shattered Dreams.
Shattered Dreams is an educational experience that reminds us all of the dangers associated with underage drinking and driving. It reminds us that too many young lives have already been lost and countless others severely impaired because of the tragic consequences of underage drinking and when drinking is combined with driving.
Shattered Dreams is about drinking and driving. It's about living and dying. The program targets high school students and involves the dramatization of an alcohol-related crash on or near a high school campus, complete with police and EMS response, ER treatment, family notifications, and the arrest and booking of the driver. The crash scene drama is played out before the student body during a school day.
Throughout the day the other elements of the "docudrama" unfold. To give students a better understanding of the number of DWI-related deaths, an individual dressed as the "Grim Reaper" appears in a different classroom every 15 minutes to select a new victim (every 15 minutes someone in Texas is injured or killed by a drunk driver). The victims are taken out of class, made-up in white faces and dressed in black t-shirts to symbolize death, and then returned to their classrooms to continue their day.
By the end of the day, every student has 1 more "dead" classmates present in the classroom with him, and on this note the school day ends. The next morning a wrap-up assembly is held featuring those who played roles in the previous day's drama, including the "crash" victims, the drunk driver, their parents, and participating law enforcement and medical personnel.
Their comments and impact statements from community members whose lives have been affected by teenage alcohol use and teenage DWI bring a closure to the program and reinforce its dual message for the teenage audience - Don't drink until you are 21, and never drink and drive. The program also educates people in making the right choice when it comes to riding with an impaired person.