On April 4, 2019 Todd D. Wachtel, Esq., a Partner of our Hillsborough office, participated in the “Every 15 Minutes” program through Hillsborough High School.
A two-day program first adopted in the U.S. in 1995, Every 15 Minutes is designed to educate high school seniors about the devastating effects of drunk driving by dramatically reenacting all stages of a horrible accident caused by an intoxicated driver.
Every 15 Minutes: Hillsborough High School
Students from Hillsborough High, with help from the local community, reenacted an accident scene with members of the Hillsborough Police, Fire, and EMS. The simulation moved its way through medical treatment, the effects on the victims’ families, and Courtroom events. The next day, the entire senior class watched a student-produced video summarizing the day, and participated in a memorial service.
This year, Todd acted as a Prosecutor, and went through a simulation of a criminal sentencing for a student who drove while intoxicated and caused a wreck resulting in the deaths of two students, and severe injuries to another.
A Commitment to the Community
The “Every 15 Minutes” program is sponsored by the Hillsborough and Millstone Alliance, and selects this time of year because of Prom, and because April is Alcohol Awareness Month. It gets its name from the alarming statistic that: every 15 minutes, someone in the United States dies from an alcohol-related collision.
Todd has participated in this program for years. Acting this year as a Prosecutor, he put before the Court a proposed plea agreement that would have put the 18-year old defendant in jail until approximately their 44th birthday, along with many other criminal penalties such as the loss of their driver’s license.
Todd also took testimony from the victim’s parents, which, even though simulated, were emotionally gut-wrenching. As Todd said:
“Drunk and distracted driving accidents do not just affect the people involved in the accident, but everyone. It is a wonderful thing that the community here in Hillsborough gets together to hopefully prevent a tragedy in the real world.”
Todd’s continued commitment to the local community is something shared by our entire team at Levinson Axelrod, P.A. – which has seen the devastating repercussions drunk driving can have on the lives of victims and their loved ones. We’re proud of Todd’s work to address a real problem through volunteer efforts which target teens and young adults, and provide an important lesson for all.
Learn more about Todd, our attorneys, and their community involvement on our website, or call (732) 440-3089 to speak with an lawyer about a potential case.