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Lake County authorities hold mock DUI at Florida school

Representatives from the Lake County, Florida, sheriff's office, the Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team and several other agencies recently gathered at a Florida high school to hold a mock DUI car accident to demonstrate the dangers of drunk driving. The crash was staged on the school's football field.

A sergeant with the Lake County sheriff's traffic unit said the event was held to show high school students that property damage, catastrophic injuries and death can result from driving drunk. The organizers scheduled the demonstration for shortly before the school's annual prom, a night when many students are tempted to drink and drive.

The event began with a skit in which the students watched a high school couple receive a lecture from their parents about drunk driving. After the skit, the students assembled at the football field to watch a realistic DUI crash, which included paramedics, firefighters, police officers and medical examiners. After the crash, the students watched another skit, this time with police officers informing the fictional couple's parents about the accident. The organizers say this is to make the simulation seem as real as possible, thus reinforcing its intended message.

Also included in the event was a speech from a woman whose 19-year-old son was killed in a car crash on the way home from a party in 2005. Several Lake County prosecutors also addressed the students.

According to the event coordinators, Lake County saw eight alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2011. They hope the program can help prevent more deaths by realistically portraying the negative effects of drunk driving.

It's also important to remember that driving drunk can affect more than just the driver's family. If that person hits another car or pedestrian, those people's lives can end or be irreparably harmed, and the drunk driver can be held accountable in criminal and civil court.

Source: Daily Commercial, "Mock DUI crash to demonstrate dangers," Millard K. Ives, April 30, 2012

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