BANGOR, Maine — Abbe-Jaye Soohey directed and filmed a movie titled “Don’t Drink and Drive, Arrive Alive,” that put on film a tragic story of teen drinking designed to encourage her fellow classmates at Bangor High School to stay safe this graduation season.
The recently graduated senior, who will head to the University of Maine in the fall, earned a new MacBook laptop as part of the Arrive Alive creative contest scholarship program offered through the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein.
The five-minute movie starts with traditional pre-prom pictures being taken as Johnny picks up Megan for the big dance and her parents tell the teens to be careful.
They go to a party after the dance where “they’re drinking and playing beer pong and having a good time,” Soohey said.
The intoxicated couple decide to leave the party. Johnny drives but is swerving all over the road and crashes into a utility poll. Both students are taken by ambulance to the hospital where Megan dies.
The message is simple: Don’t drink and drive. Stay alive.
During the filming of the movie, Bangor police officers and firefighters became actors, Soohey said.
“I didn’t script it at all,” she said. “You can’t script emotions. I said, ‘Do your job like you were at a really bad car accident’ and they did.”
In the past five years, the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein have given away more than $20,000 in prizes to graduating seniors in an attempt to raise awareness on the dangers of drinking and driving, the company Web site states.
Out of the top 16 award winners, Bangor seniors took six spots.
Senior Lindsay Giles won a laptop for a poster she created that shows a boy crying with the words “Don’t become a painful memory … don’t drink and drive.”
Abigail Clark, who wrote a poem, and Gabrielle Grandchamp, who created a poster, both took second place honors, and Olivia Dunton, with a video, and Katie Porter, who created a poster, took third place honors. All four received iPod music players. Alyssa Dee, who wrote a poem, got an honorable mention.
Copies of the contest winning entries are available at arrivealivewithme.com/winner.html. Soohey’s video is not yet posted to the site, but will be soon, she said.