Teens warn peers about drinking with strong message

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- As teenagers prepare for prom and graduation season across Arizona, some Phoenix high-schoolers are warning their peers about the dangers of underage drinking.

The Phoenix Police Department sponsored a contest.  Officers asked video production classes to put together a 60-second public service announcement with a specific theme: “Too Young to Drink.” 

Once the videos were submitted, the Police Department posted them on YouTube and let the public vote for their favorite.

Officers say the PSAs got more than 9,500 views. To them, that’s a big win for teens across the Valley as the message about underage drinking got out.

The video production class at South Mountain High School took the top prize.  Their PSA shows a young man who is offered a drink, has a vision of what it could lead to, including getting sick, teen pregnancy, and even a deadly car accident.  He then decides it is not worth it and declines the drink.

The students won $5,000 for their class. 

Camelback High School took second place, earning their class $3.000. 

Shadow Mountain High School came in third place. Phoenix Police presented the school with a $2,000 check for their video production program.  

All of the other finalists received $600, including Mountain Pointe High School, Metropolitan School of the Arts, Desert Vista High School, Pinnacle High School, and Barry Goldwater High School.

Police say funding for this contest is from a grant from the Oversight Council on Driving or Operating Under the Influence Abatement, which is staffed by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The prize money will go directly to the individual school’s video, media, communications, film production or similar type program. In addition, each school also received a trophy.

The PSAs created by this year’s winners and finalists will be featured on the City of Phoenix cable channel Phoenix 11 and Know 99, which is the youth and education channel.