Mock DUI crash teaches students sobering lesson


by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

Posted on January 17, 2014 at 8:52 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 17 at 9:01 PM

PHOENIX -- "911, what's the location of your emergency?" That sound blasted over the speakers at the Washington High School football field, followed by a woman screaming.

First responders demonstrated a serious car crash at the school Friday to teach students about the consequences of driving under the influence.

"It was terrifying because this is so real," Senior Sam Strate said. "It happens on a daily basis and it was so real."

In the simulation, a driver got behind the wheel after drinking and caused a deadly collision. The driver was given a DUI field test and taken away in handcuffs.

"You're triggering fear; you're triggering their emotions of sad and guilt," said Phoenix Fire Department EMT Kelly Liebermann.

The principal told Liebermann she had never heard 1,700 students be so quiet.

"You could hear a pin drop," he said.

In 2012, ADOT recorded more than 5,000 alcohol-related crashes in Arizona.

Phoenix public safety officials hope the mock crash gets through to the young drivers.

“My nephew died in a car accident just like this, and it's really important that people take this as serious as possible,” Senior Alexandria Rios said.