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MD Community Crime Prevention Institute gives teens a sobering experience about the deadliness of drinking and driving

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(April 23, 2012) - The Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute (MCCPI) held its first ever on-site DWI Awareness Day April 23. A class of 30 from Liberty High School in Carroll County was moved beyond words, not only by what they heard, but by what they had to do.

The day began with veteran DPSCS Crime Prevention Specialist and retired police officer Bruce Lohr leading a brief classroom session. Then came a truly first-of-its-kind experience for the teens: they had to drive and take field sobriety tests while wearing “DWI simulator” goggles, which mimic the effect of various levels of alcohol impairment.

Under the supervision of veteran law enforcement driving instructor Dan Dazzo and his staff, the kids climbed into cars and tried to negotiate the roads inside the state’s Driver Training Facility. It was, to say the least, a difficult and eye-opening experience, as was the “simple” field sobriety test that followed.

photo2Finally, Cindy and Phil Mullikin of Carroll County, whose daughter Catherine was killed by a drunk driver in 1998 at age 20, gave a heartbreaking and courageous presentation. Their charity, Catherine’s Cause, has been proactively reaching out to teens---and DWI-convicted people--- in an effort to reduce DWI crashes and tragedies like the one that severed their family forever.

DPSCS is grateful to the MCCPI folks, the Driver Training Facility staff, and to the Mullikins for this most successful first ever DWI Awareness Day.

The Md. Community Crime Prevention Institute is based in Sykesville at the Md. Public Safety Education and Training Center. It is a component of the Police and Correctional Training Commissions. MCCPI offers many crime prevention programs for law enforcement, business owners, and private citizens. Call them at 410 875-3425.