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Film uses real events to promote drinking safety

July 30, 2001

After viewing “The Best Years Of Your Life,” a film targeting binge drinking, an MSU student took the proper precautions to save his roommate’s life.

MSU police Capt. Dave Trexler said he hopes the film produced by the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety will continue to impact lives.

“The Best Years Of Your Life” was produced to educate high- school and college students about the dangers of binge drinking. The 23-minute film includes interviews of friends and parents of college students killed in binge drinking incidents.

The department showed the video to a criminal justice class of juniors and seniors last spring.

“One of the students pulled (MSU police Chief Bruce) Benson aside and told him after watching the video, his roommate came home drunk, and he got his roommate to a hospital to find his blood alcohol level was over 0.4, and if he had gotten there later he would have died,” Trexler said.

The film was in collaboration with Security on Campus Inc., which aims to educate prospective students, parents and the campus community about the prevalence of crime on the nation’s college and university campuses.

MSU’s police department is circulating the film to high schools in Michigan. Lt. John McCandless said the video describes the effects of alcohol and the vital signs to watch for when someone has had too much to drink. The video includes tragic events and the preventive measures students could have taken.

Audre Robison, a senior at East Lansing High School, said high school students need to know preventative measures.

Robison said she knew to call the emergency room when a classmate passed out at a party last spring.

“She turned blue and I saw it happen. I tried to talk to her and she wasn’t responding,” Robison said.

Robison said the video would be effective if it doesn’t preach to students like other prevention programs.

“It’s important to see the dramatic cases and what it causes,” Robison said.

McCandless said the film reaches students through personal accounts.

“The enforcement end of the message doesn’t hit home,” McCandless said. “The message is best from their peers.”

McCandless said the video was influenced by his own experiences in the police force, such as the Ryan Getz case. The former MSU student’s body was found in the Red Cedar River in April 1998 and his death was ruled accidental. He had last been seen drinking at a New Year’s Eve party.

“The Getz case was a tragedy and I got to know the family,” McCandless said.

The video aims to prevent further tragedies and foster responsible drinking.

“I hope when people choose to drink that they drink in moderation,” McCandless said. “Somebody needs to be responsible.”

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