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Mock Crash: Program aims to inform students about drunk driving

Robin Glynn – General Assignment Report

Photo Courtesy | Southernct.edu

With December being National Drunk Driving Awareness month, the Drug and Alcohol Resource Center is preparing to show students the consequences of drinking, doing drugs and texting while driving.

The drug and Alcohol resource center’s Mock Crash event, which was originally scheduled for Nov. 7, has been postponed and will now take place on Dec. 5.

“We want to raise awareness of drinking and driving,” said Stephanie Carli, Drug and Alcohol Resource Center graduate intern.

The DARC held their annual mock crash outside of Wilkinson Hall with student volunteers. Students witnessed the consequences of drinking, doing drugs and texting while driving, as well as walking while texting, listening to music and not paying attention to oncoming cars.

“There will be a run down of steps of what happens,” said Carli, in terms of what occurs after a crash.

Students like Amanda Currier think the mock car crash is a good idea.

“It is a good idea,” said Carrier. “It is important to see a live scenario.”

Sarah Michaud, director of DARC, said that drunk driving awareness is an issue that people are passionate about.

“It is a passionate issue for students,” said Michaud. ‘It is a neat way to create awareness.”

The mock crash also includes students wearing black and their faces painted white. They will represent someone who died from an accident.

“Flags will be put around the Academic Quad, representing someone who has died,” said Carli.

Following the Mock Crash, students can hear the story of Mark Sterner; a driver who caused the deaths of his three friends while on Spring Break.

According to Michaud, three months before graduation, Sterner and four of his fraternity brothers and best friends headed on Spring Break. On the final night, they decided the least drunk would drive home.

The next morning, three of the men were dead and Sterner laid in the hospital critically injured and facing three felony counts of DUI manslaughter. Sterner ended up in prison for his role in the death of his three friends.

“The Drug and Alcohol Resource Center does an annual educational prevention program on drinking and driving,” said Michaud, “and works with students and University Police to form a committee from many of the student organizations to plan the event to raise awareness among the campus community.”

DARC provides students with Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students, or BASICS. BASICS is an alcohol skills training program that aims at reducing harmful consumption and associated problems. DARC has another program called R.I.D.E.S., or Reducing Individual Dangers and Encouraging Safety. R.I.D.E.S is designed to offer students a responsible way of transportation when one is needed. R.I.D.E.S is available to students 24 hours a day and can be used for any reason.

According to Michaud, DARC found that in the fatal crashes in 2010, the highest percentage of drunk drivers was from ages 21-24, which caused 34 percent of crashes.

Michaud said every day in America, another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes. On average, one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in a lifetime.

When it comes to the Mock Crash, students like Carrier believe that the day is important.

“Seeing the mock crash will have a bigger impact,” she said.

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