March 16, 2007 - Posted at 6:36 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO-This morning Valley View Schools gave students a chance to react to a mock accident involving a drunk driver.
The arrival of fire trucks and ambulances marked an all too familiar scene.
"I've actually had a friend lost to a drunk driver and that really strikes me hard when I hear of people that drink and drive at the same time," said Ryne Lawrence, Sophomore.
With prom season just around the corner, school officials teamed up with Jonesboro Emergency personnel to show students the dangers of drinking and driving.
"At any moment you could be dead and lose everything that you ever loved or ever wanted," said Jordan Huggins who participated in the mock accident.
"Being a new driver, it really hits close to home and leaves an impact," said Lawrence.
Every year alcohol claims thousands of lives in the U.S., and millions more are cited for driving under the influence.
"It just doesn't make any sense. There are already so many deaths because of crashes and then people insist on making it worse. I just don't really understand that," said Andrea Myers, Sophomore.
As emergency workers removed the victims, students watching from the sides reflected on the seriousness of the issue.
"It's very scary and close to reality. Like this could actually happen. It's really scary," said Huggins.
"Drinking when you are underage is irresponsible in itself, but to drive and to see the affects of what it can be was pretty intense," said Shelby Stephenson, Sophomore.
A few students even realized that being a buddy can save a life.
"If I know a person very well I will tell them, please call me and let me take you home. And if they don't I will usually go pick them up anyways, because if they die I would feel responsible the most," said Zac Tyler, Junior.
However, the responsiblity is everyone's, and each time you get in the car it's about making a choice.
"I want to make the right choices and realize that I could do one wrong decision and that could be the end of my life, or my friends or my date or anything," said Scott Hogan, Senior.
After the mock accident concluded students assembled for a question and answer session with local emergency workers.
It was stressed that simply buckling up could save your life, and the decision to drink and drive could be one that haunts you for a lifetime.