About the Program

Drinking and Driving

Alcohol and the Law

Educational Resources

Court Facilitators' Guide

What People are Saying

NH Public TV
New Hampshire
Public Television
PBS Online

Educational Resources

Teachers Guide

Students will:
  • gain experience in making good choices through role-playing and evaluating the choices made by others in a variety of case study scenarios.
  • acquire an awareness of the need to accept responsibility for both the good and bad consequences of their actions.
  • explore how choices have shaped their lives, and affected the lives of those around them.
  • develop a negative attitude toward impaired driving by recognizing that poor choices regarding drinking and driving increase the probability of a negative incident occurring.

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Grade Level
Intended for use with grades 7-12
Previewing Activities
The issue of impaired driving involves choices.  Research shows that students make decisions based not only on their attitudes toward impaired driving, but also on their attitudes toward the alternatives, such as asking a friend for a ride home.  In order for students to change their attitudes toward impaired driving, they must perceive that there is the likelihood of a negative event, such as an arrest or an accident, as a result of this. 

Before viewing Just One Night, prepare a sample diagram on your chalk board on "How did you decide what to eat for breakfast?"  Explain how decisions are made and the influence of alternatives and variables.

Hand out the model flow chart sheets. Have student teams make their own flow charts to assess how they make choices when answering, "How do you decide what to wear to school?"  As students work, monitor their decision-making processes and record what you hear them say.  Once the charts are finished, have the students share with the class how they made their choices.

Go on to more complicated issues, like deciding what courses to study, and talk students through the decision-making process and the effects of different choices.  Discuss how simple decisions, such as what to wear or what to eat, can affect other decisions and ultimately shape their lives.

Focus for Viewing
To give the students a specific responsibility while viewing Just One Night, ask them to record what choices Tom Boyle made on the day of the accident.  Ask them to record who was affected by his decisions and how these decisions affected his own life.  Tell them to make sure their information is accurate, because it will serve as the basis for post-viewing discussion.
Post-Viewing Activities
Have the class make a flow chart for the decisions that Tom Boyle made on February 17.  Highlight the people affected by his choices.  Then record how these decisions affected his life.  Point out to the students how a group of seemingly isolated decisions led to a horrible situation.

Using the case study approach, ask  students to critically examine the factors that influence choices and include their attitudes about impaired driving as a variable.  Teachers need to create a hypothetical case study which will allow students to analyze how simple choices impact lives and to learn more about the negative consequences of impaired driving.  The process will help students develop analytical thinking skills, including listening for facts, synthesizing issues, and developing logical arguments.

The case study should be localize and typical to a situation so that it is closer to home for the students.  A case study may begin with

 A friend comes up to you at school on Friday and says, "My parents are going to be away for the weekend and I'm inviting people over for a party.  Want to come?"

Throughout the story, the teacher should stop and ask the student questions such as, "Do you go to the party?"  Discuss the answer by having students consider various factors that would determine their decision whether or not to go.  Encourage them to contribute other things they might think about in making their choice such as "who will be there?", "how do I get there?", "what will I tell my parents?", and "what are some other options for Friday night?"

Some of the alternatives to impaired driving and concerns that students should raise include:
  • asking a friend for a ride
  • calling a taxi
  • calling parents to come get you
  • will the friends you drove to the party understand if you can't drive them home
  • impact of peer pressure
  • would it be an imposition to ask a friend for a ride
  • would it be embarrassing to admit you can't hold your liquor
  • how do you feel (physiological and psychomotor changes–see Resource Materials)
  • what is the likelihood of getting into an accident
  • how severe might an accident be
  • what are my chances of getting arrested
  • what are the penalties
  • how much would it cost
  • can a lawyer be hired who would reduce the penalties of an arrest or accident
  • would you have a record for life
  • how would your parents react
The conclusion of the case study should point out how simple decisions can affect other decisions and ultimately shape their lives.  Ask the students on which facts they based their decision.  Lead students through the process of identifying and learning the significant factual information about drinking and driving.  The goal is to share information in order to influence students' perceptions of the negative consequences of impaired driving.  The facts provide the basis for analyzing decisions made.  Analyzing issues and developing arguments without a basic understanding of the facts can be both frustrating and counterproductive.
  • Work with emergency medical service (EMS) and medical personnel, local law enforcement, the local Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapter, the state highway safety office, and other safety organizations to conduct a mock crash. Supplement the mock crash by obtaining a safety belt convincer so students will have the opportunity to experience the benefits of safety belts.
  • Sponsor a safety holiday ornament or t-shirt fund raising campaign for your community. Have a school contest to come up with a design for the ornament or t-shirt and an impaired driving slogan to go on the ornament. Proceeds from the campaign can go to support school traffic safety programs.
  • Invite a motivational speaker to talk to students about having a fun alternatives without alcohol. Or bring in a person charged with killing or injuring someone in an alcohol-related crash or a victim who was injured by an impaired driver to talk about how their life has changed because of alcohol.
  • Hold a summit on community alcohol issues. Convene law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, parents, clergy, school representatives, and community leaders to discuss the problem of youth access to alcohol and develop solutions to reducing access  and consumption.
  • Have school clubs and safety groups (drama club, varsity club, SADD, Future Homemakers of America, etc.) work together to organize a community program on alcohol and impaired driving awareness.

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New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency
Pine Inn Plaza
117 Manchester Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 271-2131 Fax: (603) 271-3790

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Bob Shearouse
511 East John Carpenter Freeway  #700
Irving, TX 75062
Phone: (214) 744-MADD (6233)  Fax: (972) 869-2206/2207

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
Bill Cullinane
101 Depot Road
Chatham, MA 02633
Phone: (508) 945-3122 Fax: (508) 945-3944ources