COVINGTON, La. -- One day after a 17-year-old Mandeville High student was buried, with his death suspected to be alcohol-related, a group of high school students got a day-long lesson about the dangers of drinking.
The “Sudden Impact” program, put on by Louisiana State Police and various hospitals, outlines the effects of drinking, distracted driving and the consequences of both.
"We see impairment begin with one drink, and that impairment will first affect your what?" said Trooper Nick Manale. "Your judgment."
Step by step, Louisiana State Police and staff and St. Tammany Hospital explained to students from St. Thomas Aquinas in Hammond how every sip of alcohol affects an underage person.
The examples of the “Sudden Impact” program range from losing your balance to losing your life.
One trooper told the students about leaving a friend that’s been drinking too much, "'Hey, lets go carry him to his room and put him to bed.' Well, you're not thinking if he vomits and is so drunk that he can't even turn his head to the side, that he can literally choke on his own vomit."
For the kids, the program is living up to its name.
"It's scary, you know, you really wouldn't expect someone your age to go through something like that but it happens and it's a shock to know that happens to people our age," said 16-year-old Tylynn Guidry.
Adam DiBenedetto, 16, said, "I know about some minor things, some vague details, but I did not know how influential it could be on my body and other people my age as well."
The presentation comes on the heels of the death of Connor Guinn, a 17-year-old Mandeville High student who police say may have died due to alcohol.
It’s a story troopers say adds to the message they try to convey in the program.
"It's alcohol consumption, good choices in vehicles, good choices in our daily lives, and it's all about making them realize that the decisions they make will have consequences, unfortunately, sometimes they do have lifelong consequences," said Manale.
Students say the program will be a lifelong lesson.
"I believe it will always stick with me," DiBenedetto said.
Troopers say, since the inception of the program 15 years ago, no students who have taken part in the program have been involved in an alcohol-related fatal crash.
The coroner’s office is still working on determining an official cause of death in the Connor Guinn case.