Mock car crash shows students consequences of drunk driving

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Students at Mountain Pointe High School got a firsthand look Friday at what can happen when you drink and drive.

Phoenix Fire and Police emergency crews simulated an alcohol-involved crash to teach teens about the possible consequences of impaired driving. 

The entire student body gathered at the school's football field Friday morning to watch the mock crash. Students from the school's drama department acted out the events.

Strong visuals included dramatic reenactments of firefighters and police responding to an accident, extricating people from vehicles, and demonstrating the DUI testing and arrest process. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner even bagged and transported a DOA patient from the scene.

Firefighters say they hope to remind students about the effects of getting behind the wheel after drinking. "This message will impact them for years to come," says Kelly Lieberman of the Phoenix Fire Department.  They will never forget today."

The powerful mock crash had a big impact on many of the students. "We're triggering all their emotions," says Lieberman. "Fear, guilt, anger, frustration. When they start seeing the death notifications, and helicopters landing on the field, this  becomes a reality."

The event was so emotional for some, counselors were brought in to meet with some of the students who had to be called off the field.

In 2012, there were 5,444 alcohol-related crashes in Arizona, as reported by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The reenactments of alcohol-related vehicle crashes have been shown to have a great emotional impact on the students who see it right in front of their eyes.

"Informing high school students of the consequences of drinking and driving will stick in their memories and will impact their behavior," says Director Alberto Gutier from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.