ALE and SHP Present Keys to Life Program at High School in Hope Mills


HOPE MILLS -- North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement and the State Highway Patrol worked together to present a Keys to Life Program for seniors at South View High School to make them aware of the deadly dangers of drinking and driving.

Just before prom season and graduation, officials reminded the Hope Mills students that drinking under the age of 21 is illegal and that it can have deadly consequences.  State Highway Patrol Trooper S.D. Reed told the assembled teens about the dangers of drunk driving and distracted driving.

"We're also seeing more people impaired on prescription drugs," Reed said.  "As you're driving down the road, anyone could be impaired.  Don't be that guy."

Students assembled at the school stadium saw a mock accident scene --two cars carrying six teens that had collided. Local fire departments were the first to arrive and render aid to the "injured" who had bruises painted on their faces and limbs.  Firemen used special tools called the jaws of life to remove sections of the car so that they could extract the injured teens. 

State Highway Patrol Trooper M.A. Bethea arrived and administered the breathalyzer and other tests to Jason, who played the uninjured driver of one of the cars.  He failed the tests, was handcuffed and placed in Bethel's patrol car to take to the magistrate's office. 

Tara was the other driver and she was"killed" in the mock accident.  Students watched as she was put on a gurney and wrapped in a white sheet to be sent to the morgue.

Representatves from the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, Hope Mills Police Department, Hope Mills Fire Department, Cotton Fire Department, Pearce’s Mill Fire Department, Cumberland County Emergency Medical Services, Cumberland County 911, and District Court Judge Lou Olivera participated in the Keys to Life Program. They gave teen spectators a vivid look into the treatment and investigative process.

"It's very eye-opening for a lot of the students when they see what we do on the scene of a real wreck -- acutally cutting bodies out of a car," Reed said.  "Its a sobering and harsh reality."

Jason, a theater student, said he enjoyed playing his part, but Tara, the "killed" teen, was subdued and didn't think she would ever want to play her part again.

Trooper Reed said while Alcohol Law Enforcement began the Keys to Life Program in the Fayetteville area, the State Highway Patrol is now adament about continuing to do these events to prevent teen DWIs.  Keys to Life Programs are scheduled in 2016 at Cape Fear High School and in 2017 at Pine Forest High School.  Both schools are in Cumberland County.




Contact: Patty McQuillan
Date: May 1, 2015
Phone: (919) 733-5027