"Every 15 Minutes" at Arvin High School

Local students got a glimpse of the dangers of drinking and driving at Arvin High School. "Every 15 Minutes" is a program simulating a graphic DUI collision.
ARVIN, CA - Local students got a glimpse of the dangers of drinking and driving at Arvin High School. "Every 15 Minutes" is a program simulating a graphic DUI collision.

The crash scene is staged for juniors and seniors. Students are assigned fake injuries complete with gory makeup to give classmates an idea of what it would be like if this wasn't make-believe.

The football field at Arvin High School was transformed into a DUI crash scene. Cars, first responders and victims sprawled on the grass, showing students what could happen if they're involved in a drinking and driving crash.

Arvin High senior Victoria Garcia said, "I imagined them actually going through that experience and it kind of got to me."

In this scenario one student was arrested. two others were dead. The ones who survived had bloody wounds and serious injuries.

Arvin High senior Miguel Vazquez said, "My best friend was the driver of the blue car, she's the one that survived. Her boyfriend was the passenger. So, it kind of like a traumatic experience. You drive some accidents and you don't really think about it, but when it's someone that's close to heart, it hits home."

CHP officer Robert Rodriguez says students need to see the harsh reality.

"If you're trapped in the vehicle, fire department's going to have to cut you out. If you're dead on the side of the road, highway patrol's going to have to clean you up, tell your parents that you're dead. Now, everybody's impacted by it," said Rodriguez.

Garcia said, "I wouldn't want to see a family member go through that. I wouldn't want to see my friends go through that."

It's called "Every 15 Minutes" because that used to be how often someone was killed in an alcohol related crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports since the program started in 1995 -- the number of deaths has decreased to one every 48 minutes. Organizers say it's proof the program is working.

Activities director Jessica Sinden said, "I just hope that they learn to make better driving decisions and also to be aware of the other drivers on the road.

Garcia said, "It makes me think twice about who I get in the car with or who I go out with because I don't want to put my life in danger or anybody elses life in danger, if I'm in the case where I'm the one drinking."

The program is largely funded by a grant through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There will be another activity Friday -- students will attend a funeral for those killed during the demonstration.
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