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PJC students train to become alcohol awareness mentors

Published or Revised May 18, 2015

Students in alcohol training

PJC student Kadija Pannell tries out a driving simulator showing the effects of impaired reflexes at an alcohol awareness training workshop.

Helping fellow students next year recently sent several Paris Junior College students to the U in the Driver Seat Peer-to-Peer Impaired Driving Prevention Symposium at the University of Texas at Arlington. Attending were Micah Heatwole, Rayvn Bossett, Juanita Martin, Kadija Pannell and Plensir Willie, accompanied by PJC Director of Student Life Kenneth Webb.

The students received training to hold impaired driving workshops, two in the fall and two in the spring semester, for their fellow students at PJC. Materials developed by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Youth Transportation Safety Program will be provided to PJC for use in the training.

Data shows that from 2010 to 2014 there’s been an increase - from 60 to 71 percent statewide - in crash-related deaths of drivers 18-24 years of age driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That’s an 18 percent (relative) increase over five years.

“The symposium was designed to convince college-aged drivers that they have the power to lower those statistics,” said Webb. “Breakout sessions showed our students how they can take the lead here at PJC to positively influence their peers and debunk myths associated with drugs and alcohol and their effects on drivers. They came back excited and determined to make a difference.”

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