Arvin high students see reality of drunk driving

Posted at 5:40 PM, Mar 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 21:53:59-04

Junior and senior students at Arvin High School got to see the consequences of drinking and driving Tuesday with a simulated car crash. 

The crash was part of the nation-wide program "Every 15 minutes" which was created to show teenagers the reality of what happens when you drink and drive. The name comes from the statistic that, on average, every 15 minutes someone is killed by a drunk driver.

The accident is set up to make it look as realistic as possible. The students who are simulated as injured in the crash were covered in fake blood and make up. 

The California Highway Patrol, Hall Ambulance and Kern County Fire all took part in the simulation. CHP gave a sobriety test to the student who was depicted as the drunk driver while the fire department used the jaws of life to rescue another students and the coroner's office took away another student in a body bag.

"This is make believe, this is not real what we're doing today, but this can be very real if a person chooses to drink and drive," said CHP officer Robert Rodriguez.

Students in the stands watched closely as their fellow classmates were carted off in all different directions. 

"You know we're hoping that this sinks in because these kids that are out here are tomorrow's drivers. They are our future and so if we can prevent alcohol related incidents now, well hopefully we can make a better tomorrow for everyone." said Rodriguez.

One student said it is important for everyone to see the consequences of drinking and driving.

"I think it's very important, like they should be aware that not only your life is at risk, but everyone else's as well," said junior student Susana Pantoja.

The depicted drunk driver was taken to the local jail, the injured students were taken to the hospital and the student who died was taken to the coroner's office. 

One student said the program left a lasting lesson for everyone.

"Don't drink and drive because it doesn't just affect you, it effects the families of the people that you hurt. Those are real people with real families that are going to miss them," said junior student Leslie Arzate.

The Every 15 Minutes program is a two day event. Wednesday students will join together in the auditorium for a mock funeral.