Spreading a message to teens about the consequences of underage drinking, the Phoenix Police Department started a Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest for high school students around the Valley.

The “Too Young to Drink” PSA contest was created this year and will award the first place winner with $5,000 for classroom video and audio equipment.

Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe high schools’ media departments each created a minute-long PSA video, along with nearly eight other schools.

An awards ceremony will be hosted at North Canyon High School in May where winners will be announced.

“We’ll never know how many kids we will reach, but the message is that getting a DUI has the ability to impact your life for years to come,” said Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department.

Each taking a slightly different topic regarding teen drinking, Mountain Pointe students aimed to reach viewers on an emotional level. Students surrounded their PSA about the death of friends from underage drinking and driving.

“They wanted it to be meaningful,” said technology and TV productions teacher Jacqueline Adamson.

High schools around the Valley submitted their videos to the police department last month. They were then placed on YouTube for views and judging. All participating eight schools made it to the final round.

Students at Desert Vista presented the idea of arrests, DUIs, and other legal consequences in their PSA.

“They looked at this idea that choices can all lead to things down the road with a domino effect,” said multimedia advisor Michelle Coro. “It all starts with that first choice.”

Alberto Gutierrez, of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said that although the number of statewide DUI arrests and under 21 citations have slightly decreased, the issue of teen drinking is still a constant concern.

“The contest is about young people using mediums they use to get a message out to their peers,” Thompson said.

The awards ceremony will be at 7 p.m. on May 1 at North Canyon High School, 1700 E. Union Hills.

Voting for PSAs can be done on the Phoenix Police Department YouTube channel, youtube.com/phxpd, by “liking” your favorite video.

For more information about the contest, visit phoenix.gov/police.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com. Follow her on Twitter @dmartinezAFN.

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