Teens often use these two events as an excuse to acquire alcohol and have a party. Unfortunately, not only is it illegal for a teenager to drink alcohol in the United States, but this type of behavior often leads to a fatal collision later that night when they try to make it home before curfew.
The United Way of Broward Commission on Substance Abuse is emphasizing the dangers of this type of behavior by coordinating efforts with other groups to stage mock accident scenes at high schools around the state. These crash re-enactments have been happening at Florida schools for the past two decades and their impact is no less poignant today than it was back then.
A wrecked car is pried apart with a jaws of life. Injured students are rescued and treated. Some may be driven away in a hearse. In Palm Beach County, sometimes the Health Care District of Palm Beach County’s Trauma Hawk helicopter is used.
Police give a field sobriety test and arrest the offending driver. In some cases, a trial is held for the impaired driver.
“You could see the kids on the edge of their seats,” said Division Chief Al Diliello of Pembroke Pines Fire-Rescue, which recently participated in a crash reenactment at Flanagan High School. “They realize there is a finality to it. You can get hurt and can get killed.”