Miami Edison High students receive pre-prom safety measures

Seniors and juniors impacted by mock DUI crash event

Ashley Montgomery | 5/8/2014, 9 a.m.
With a glamorous and entertaining night that many high school students dream of promptly approaching, local organizations and political figures ...

With a glamorous and entertaining night that many high school students dream of promptly approaching, local organizations and political figures want to ensure the night stays that way. A very dramatic and scary visual of what takes place seconds after a driver under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs collides with another vehicle was meant to deter students from placing themselves in harms way.

Last Friday, the Urban Partnership Drug Free Community Coalition (UPDFCC) and Gang Alternative Inc., Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the City of Miami Fire Department/Police Department hosted the mock DUI at Miami Edison Senior High School.

The mantra “don’t drink and drive” can be heard so often that it may not be as permeating as police officials and parents hope. The mock DUI gave juniors and seniors an up-close-and-personal look of an accident scene and how rapidly life can change within minutes. The "accident" scene was filled with fake blood, tattered clothing and actual firefighters, policemen, homicide investigators and coroners responding on the scene.

To send a personalized message, all who participated in the mock DUI crash were Miami Edison High students.

“Let’s make sure that this is only an act. Let’s make sure that there is nothing real about this event,” Vivilora D. Perkins Smith, UPDFCC project coordinator said. “But it can be if you are not careful. So I recommend that you do whatever you can do to be careful.”

Community leaders such as Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regaldo, Director of Neighborhood and Community Services at the Children’s Trust, Jacqui Colyer, City of Miami Fire Department/Rescue, Chief Maurice Kemp, CEO of the Urban League of Greater Miami, T. Willard Fair and school board member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, were among many at the event. They delivered heartfelt speeches urging students not to drink and drive on prom night, one of the most exciting occasions in their young lives.

“I want you to make wise choices, you are valuable and every decision you make will forever impact you and those who love you,” Try K. Diggs, principal of Miami Edison Senior High said.

And so, the scene was set: students were dressed in the latest prom fashions, partying with red cups in their hands. Everyone leaves the scene, stumbling upon one another illustrating their drunken state.

When the black curtains are removed, gasps can be heard from the crowd viewing the reenactment.

A speaker narrating the entire scene emphasized the dangers and deadly consequences of underage drinking. Two cars were badly damaged with unconscious students lying inside. One with her arm hanging out of the window with fake blood dripping down. Another student is lying face down on the concrete basketball floor, covered with fake blood.

The scene shocked and convinced everyone of the real dangers of drunk driving. The mock DUI crash showed students that "fatal" accidents could happen to them too.

Firefighters/Paramedics and Law Enforcement officers demonstrated real-time victim extrication, medical treatment, roadside sobriety testing and arrest.

The juniors and seniors of Miami Edison High School recited and signed a pledge at the end of the mock DUI crash stating that they understand the consequences and irresponsibility of getting behind the wheel impaired on prom night.