INSTITUTE, WV (WOWK) – Students and local first responders conducted a ‘mock DUI crash’ at West Virginia State University’s campus Thursday, Oct. 21.
“It’s eye-opening, kind of, just like how much destruction can happen just because you decided to drive,” said Michael Thompson, a senior at WVSU, who played the role of a drunk driver.
It’s a lesson hopefully none of these students will have to learn after watching and participating in the DUI mock drill.
“They were cutting me out of the car and it was just kind of loud and it wasn’t fun and especially made me think about life, ya know, I never want to be in this situation, ” said Kerigan Moore another WVSU student.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest data, more than 10,000 people died from drunk driving related accidents in 2019 and that was the lowest annual number since 1982.
“People actually die from this, people get arrested, losing family members and everything else,” added Moore.
In addition to fatalities, drunk driving can result in losing your license, penalties, and a first-time offense can cost the driver $10,000 in fines and legal fees.
“If you have a DUI on your record it will follow you for your life. And certainly, preclude you from getting some type of professional opportunities,” said Ericke Cage the Interim President of WVSU.
Watching the drill really hit home for some of these students.
“You’re young, you have a life ahead of you, you don’t want to be having this burden on you, hurt your friends, family and all of that,” said Kamari Terrell, a WVSU student watching the drill.
Some even walked away from it with valuable lessons.
“I think it’s very important for our age to understand cause when it happens to people our age it kind of hits close to home,” said another WVSU student who participated in the drill.
“If there was one thing I could leave off with its just, don’t drive drunk, make good choices, have a friend.”Michael Thompson, WVSU Senior
The age group from 21 to 24-year-olds is the highest group with the most crashes that involve alcohol and in 2019 that represented 27 percent of deaths in DUI crashes.