Some 700 Santa Margarita Catholic High School juniors and seniors were pulled from their classes on Monday, April 24, to witness a mock DUI car crash in front of their school. They watched as their classmates acted out a prom night scenario in which one student, driving drunk, was responsible for a devastating accident that claimed the lives of his classmates.
The “Every 15 Minutes” program is put on by Friends Against Drinking and Driving at high schools throughout Orange County. The SMCHS event was the 100th mock DUI event for a program that began 26 years ago. The event occurs at SMCHS every two years and is funded through a grant from the California Highway Patrol. The goal of the program: Save lives.
In a collaboration between the Orange County Fire Authority, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, Mission Hospital, Care Ambulance, Trauma Intervention Prevention Group, O’Connor Mortuary, S&K Towing and Quality Towing, the event is a powerful reminder to everyone that too many lives are lost, due to alcohol-related accidents.
The mock crash began with a 911 call that set the agencies into motion to respond. Each agency also used the drill as a training exercise for its staff. Students from SMCHS served as the actors.
Earlier in the day, the “Grim Reaper” collected students every 15 minutes from various classrooms on campus to illustrate how often lives are lost to drunk driving crashes.