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October 31, 2007 (LITTLE ROCK) – The Arkansas State Police today released the first copies of a DVD video titled Choices which is being made available across Arkansas to local high schools and youth organizations. The 13-minute video was produced as an education tool to assist school teachers, counselors, and youth organization leaders in discussions with teenagers about the dangers and life changing consequences associated with driving while under the influence of alcohol. Arkansas law prohibits anyone under 21 years of age to operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or similar intoxicant. Under the influence is defined by Arkansas DUI statutes as an individual (under 21 years of age) who has an alcohol concentration of two-hundredths (0.02) but less than eight-hundredths (0.08) measured by a chemical test of the underage person's blood or breath or other bodily substance. Crash statistics for 2006 indicate that 26 drivers under the age of 21 died in alcohol related crashes. “We will make the Choices DVD available to any local high school, church or youth group on an on-loan basis,” said Major Ed Wolfe, commander of the Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division. “At the present we only have a limited number of the DVD’s at each of the twelve state police troop headquarters around the state. The video can be checked-out for use and later returned to the troop office.” Additional copies of the DVD which should double the number of copies available at the troop offices should be available for use within the next two weeks. A listing of Arkansas State Police troop headquarters can be found at the department’s web site, http://www.asp.arkansas.gov/divisions/hp/hp_commanders.html or telephone inquires can be directed to the department’s Highway Patrol Division administrative offices at (501) 618-8800. Choices is divided into two sections, a fictional video story which depicts several common choices or decisions teenagers typically make before eventually being drawn to a party where alcohol is provided and an epilog to the fictional story which features three young women who have been directly impacted by alcohol related motor vehicle crashes. The true stories shared by these women put real-life faces with the life-long suffering associated in the aftermath of an alcohol related highway crash. The Choices project was produced, edited and distributed by the Arkansas State Police Video Support Unit with proceeds from a grant funded by the department’s Highway Safety Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The premier screening of Choices occurred today at Star City High School. Students from the school’s EAST lab volunteered as actors and production assistants while the video was being shot. “These students and their teachers deserve so much credit in making this project possible,” commented Colonel Winford E. Phillips, Director of the State Police. Colonel Phillips and other state police personnel were at the school today to offer the department’s appreciation for the assistance provided by the students, local sheriff’s deputies, police officers, firemen, businesses and local residents. Speaking to the students, Colonel Phillips said, “Your work on this project represents one community’s very clear message that we must all work together to help our young people make good choices before it’s too late and someone has to die needlessly. Now it’s up to us at the state police to disseminate the message through this video.”