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Cops Give Teens Powerful Prom Night Message

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A mock DUI crash was presented to Miami-Dade high school students to discourage them from drinking and driving on prom night.  (Source: CBS4)

A mock DUI crash was presented to Miami-Dade high school students to discourage them from drinking and driving on prom night. (Source: CBS4)

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MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – The night many high school students dream about is almost here but not without a visual scare of the potential consequences of drinking, and getting behind the wheel on prom night.

Approximately 1,000 students from Miami Beach and Miami Northwestern High School witnessed a simulated DUI car crash presentation to reinforce the possible consequences of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The 12th annual Cheat the Reaper Teen Anti-DUI program took place in the parking lot of the Miami Beach Convention Center, Wednesday.   The program also serves as a reminder of the mandatory pledge to not drink and drive made by all Miami Dade students who purchased a prom ticket.

To ensure an emotional impact on the students, a team of school administrators, teachers and students worked together with community partners to make the crash as realistic as possible.  Some of the props included: make-up, a gallon or more of fake blood, broken glass and actual crashed vehicles.

The goal of the award-winning program is to avoid a real prom night accident by evoking emotional responses to the staged one.  Also, they hope that the visuals will resurface in students’ mind once peer pressure fires-up.

The staged accident will include police response followed by an investigation, a sobriety test, and then an arrest.  Fire rescue will be there to remove the ‘victims’ from the car, stabilize them and transport to the hospital.

“Its an eye-opener for everyone how long it can take for them to get to you after an accident,” said Danielle Soares of Miami Beach Senior High.

Just in case the police and ambulance act isn’t enough to ensure a drug-free prom, funeral home attendants will be there to transport the ‘victims’, in a hearse, to a mock funeral.

Mecca Simms of Miami Beach High School watched the simulated scene that started with a party, and ended in a fatal accident.

“It just scares me, it feels real.  I put myself in all the positions; if I were the driver and I was drinking, if I were the victim and I was dead, if my spine was messed up for the rest of my life.  It just makes you think,” said Simms.

Advice from police to parents before their child steps out the door on prom night:

Discuss your child’s plans and set a curfew.
Encourage them to call you in unsafe situations.
Talk to the limo company about alcohol/drug policies.
Stay up until your child comes home.

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