Drunk driving program aims to educate teens

Drunk driving program aims to educate teens
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Many parents fear the dangers of drinking and driving this time of year, and Amarillo High School students got an up close and personal look at exactly that this morning.

Local safety officials gathered at Amarillo High today to simulate a real-life drunk driving crash. They demonstrated a sobriety test, arrests, the jaws of life, and pronouncing fatalities of AHS students. Drivers between the ages of 16 to 20 are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood alcohol content of .08% compared to when they have not been drinking. TxDOT Public Information Officer Adele Lewis said a closer look at what could happen is just what teenagers need.

"A lot of kids watch this stuff on TV and they get desensitized to it, but they've never actually seen it in person. So bringing them a mock accident is one way we can bring them closer to the reality of this type of wreck," said Lewis.

AHS students believe today's simulation will prevent tragedies in the future. Student Regan Mashburn said it's important their peers know the dangers of driving under the influence.

"It's very important for our student body to really see their consequences of their actions and really think about what is going to happen. If we event get somebody to think twice we did our job," said Mashburn.

DPS troopers said DWI's across the state account for about one-third of deaths on Texas roadways. With prom, graduation, and memorial day around the corner, Sergeant Cindy Barkley said parents can help their teens resist the temptation to drink.

"A lot of parents offer activities after prom so kids aren't tempted to go off on their own and maybe make a bad choice that could end up affecting the rest of their life. So plan fun activities that kids may wanna go to so they're not tempted to get into trouble," said Barkley.

Lewis said another route parents can go, is to let their kids know they can always call home. She said she implemented a phone call policy with her own children.

"If they get in trouble or they're at a party and they can't get home, they can call me anytime of night or day and i will come get them no questions asked and no sermons," said Lewis.

Amarillo High School students said they are having more events this week to educate teens on the dangers of impaired driving.

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