Shelby's Rules - an Alcohol Poisoning Education Foundation
HomeMedia KitDirector's MessagePast Appearances and EventsPresentation Outline for Teacher's ReviewShelby's RulesShelby's Last Words LetterShelby's "Choices" LetterAlyssa's StoryJill's StoryCaitlin's StoryColettte's StoryJon Bell's StoryLetters from FriendsPICTURES and MOVIESDownloadsPromotional ItemsIRS Tax Deductible Status
Presentation Outline for Teachers Review

This is a general outline of Deb's presentation.  Including playing the slide show, the presentation fits into a typical class period or school assembly (our preferred venue), including time for questions and answers.  If you are a school administrator, counselor or teacher and wish to see what would be presented when you consider inviting Deb to your facility, this is what you are looking for.


Prelude  -  Show the 10 minute slide show of Shelby so the audience knows who she is and will better understand loss  .  .  .


My name is Debbie Allen and on December 20th, the first night of Christmas break, my 17 year old daughter died of acute alcohol poisoning (remember that word).

What I am about to share with you is another reason why underage drinking is dangerous to you. 

It is unclear exactly what happened that night, but we have been told that Shelby and some friends began drinking alcohol at a friend's house, where she was visiting. Shelby became violently ill and semi-conscious when her friends propped up near a toilet and left her.   When she was discovered the next morning she could not be revived.  She never even had a chance to make it to the ER where she could possible have been saved because she was left alone and no medical help was called.

My Shelby was the girl that everybody liked, as one child said "popular without attitude".  At this time of her life she was excited and happy with everything:

Her future with picking a college, she was an good student, cross country and track runner,  Drama student (had just received a lead role), snowboarder, loved taking pictures of the sky, having the wind in her face, played the piano, a talented artist, loved life, (at christmas she had ordered a big sticker for her car that said "Dig Life"), loved her home, Dad and Mom & her older sister Tera. And she loved her white german sherpherd dog  "Koda" who through her own words she called "the love of her life".  She had already told me that she wanted to have children one day when it was the right time.   The list goes on and on   .   .   .   .   .   .

In the aftermath of this unbelievable tragedy I began asking questions:

In my initial grieving I asked, how did I miss this, after all, I was raised in a law enforcement family, I had a ten year career myself in law enforcement and I was a teen myself in L.A., Ca. in the 70's experimenting with alcohol.

And then it hit me, I had never known a teen that died of alcohol.    Not one, we didn't die after a few hours after drinking alcohol.

As I talked to teens I came to realize that most of them have no clue that drinking just a few too many swallows of an 80 proof alcohol, like vodka, can KILL YOU.  Shockingly I came to realize that most adults have no clue to the dangers of alcohol poisoning, myself included.

Sure we know that excessive drinking can make us sick or make us do things that are embarrassing and leave us with a headach and nasty hangover. 

And many of us remember letting a friend sleep it off.        

But we have no idea how easily that friend might have slipped into a deadly coma or vomit in their sleep, choke to death and die. 

Especially if the style of drinking is aggressive (Large amounts of alcohol in short periods of time.)  BINGE DRINKING

I learned that nowadays the alcohol of choice  is vodka and drinking with shots,  as you get drunk quicker and without the smell of alcohol so you don't get in trouble (where in my time that was the old man's drink).  

Also, drinking games have become popular which create even more aggressive competative drinking, and creates a higher chance of being a alcohol poisoning victim (in fact this recent culture of binge drinking, has created the exact recipe for "ACUTE ALCOHOL POISONING".

To my horror I've also learned that  there is a very comfortable attitude with being with, or near, or being yourself, a vomiting person (sometimes there are even pictures taken).  And yet this is usually one of the first alarms that something is wrong with our body (and it's not a little alarm, it's a serious alarm).

As unfair as it seems if you are a GIRL, your risk is increased.  This has to do with enzymes that males have more of that helps break alcohol down in their digestive systems that females do not have as much of.


"PERFORM SKIT WITH STUDENTS TO DEMONSTRATE ALCOHOL AMOUNTS".  (The skit is a demonstration where student volunteers participate in a drinking game with 8 oz of water.  At the conclusion of the game Debbie explains that the amount of water the students drank in avout 30 seconds is the amount of alcohol assuming an 80 proof vodka, that the Coroner reported finding during Shelbys autopsy (BAC of .33).  This graphic demonstration of how little an amount of vodka can lead to acute alcohol poisoning is a highlight of the presentation)

For a young woman of Shelbys 107 lb 5'6' frame as little as 8 ounces of 80 proof vodka over an hour or two can lead to coma and death if no medical attention care is provided.

"DEMONSTRATE with glassware the different alcohol strengths between beer, wine and hard liquor to show how quickly drinking shots of hard alcohol can lead to acute alcohol poisonoing". 

Once alcohol poisoning has occurred the only way to save a life is to get the poison pumped and flushed out of the body.  And this can only be done with medical intervention.  BUT, the GOOD NEWS is, almost 100% of the time a person is completely saved if medical care is provided!

Shelby's untimely and ultimately preventable death has devastated my family.   And while we understand that underage drinking is a terrible problem, my family and I are realists and know that underage drinking is occurring.  Our daughter made poor choices that night, but those choices should never have led to her death. 

It is the hard truth that despite a parent's best efforts to protect their children, in the end your safety, your very life, can come down to the people that you are with knowing when and how to ask for help.

Unfortunately, there is also a new culture of parents and adults that believe serving a young person alcohol in the home is safe. This attitude is simply wrong, and here are some of the reasons why:

    1.  Illegal

    2. New research shows that a young adults brain is not fully developed until in their 20's. This means by serving them alcohol you are making greater their chances of becoming an alcoholic.  Their sense of right and wrong starts to leave with the first drink.

    3. A parent should never take another parent's parenting away by feeding their child a poison like alcohol.

    4. And I can almost guarantee that these parents know nothing about how the new culture of binge drinking that has brought about the exact recipe for Acute Alcohol Poisoning.  Or, that they even know any information on AAP and how quickly a person could be dead at their home.

There should never be a time as a parent or adult when you feed alcohol to a child or underage young adult.

I have vowed to do whatever I can to educate teens, young adults, and parents to the dangers of alcohol poisoning.  I want all of them to know that immediate medical intervention can and in most cases does save lives.

It is my deepest desire that no other families or friends will have to endure the pain of loss that we experience every day of our lives.

So, Shelby's Rules were born, which are:


Alcohol + vomiting =  911   (of course, most persons vomiting do not die but it is awarning sign, antennas up!) 

vomiting is usually your 1st danger sign, your body is telling you something is wrong.  But, vomiting will not clear your body of alcohol  -  it is absorbed too quickly.

Semi or unconscious can't be slept off.

If you can't wake up the person, you must get help.  Do not take the chance they may not wake up.

"A lot of people think that if someone is passed out, it's not cause for concern,"  "Too many people think it's normal."

Passing out is a sign of alcohol poisoning,  You should never leave such a person alone to "sleep it off."  If you can't wake them up, you need to get them immediate medical help.


I'm just asking you to help each other.  If you find yourself in a situation where someone may have alcohol poisoning, please get them help.  Its better to be safe, than to know you could have saved someone and didn't.  Even if it is a false alarm, medical personal would rather have a person saved.

YOU KNOW, Shelby's friends didn't know she was going to die that night.  But she did.   And now you know her story. 

Friends don't let friends drink and drive, and they don't let them die of alcohol poisoning  either.

Thank you.

Please visit our web site that is on the card we passed out.

I would be happy to answer any questions.

Enter supporting content here