Every 15 minutes, someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-related traffic accident. It shatters the lives and dreams of innocent families.
On Tuesday, a program called Shattered Dreams challenged Lubbock-Cooper students to think about the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved.
"Shattered Dreams is a program used to teach students about drinking and driving," said Heath Heinrich, Student Body President of Lubbock Cooper High School. "It's a mock crisis. The student body is going to be able to see everything."
"Pretty devastating," said Kamron Bownds, a Senior at Lubbock Cooper High School. "It has an impact, it looks real!"
"This is all about drinking and driving. It's to send the message that nobody should drink and drive," Heinrich said.
"Most kids go off and do this anyways and they really don't understand the consequences. They'll probably just joke about it, or not pay attention to it." said Bownds. "But if they come out here and see this and see what can really happen I think it will have an impact on them. "
Austin Conner, a Cooper Senior, said he was shocked to see his friends lying motionless.
"I know every one of them. I'm actually good friends with four of them, and I know the other two pretty well," he said. "(To see) some of them being taken off in choppers and ambulances. It's a weird feeling."
"In real life, that's what's going to happen. It's not just going to effect you for the day of the crash," said Heinrich. "it's going to be a big burden of your life for that long if you were ever caught in that situation."
Students watched, as their classmate was handcuffed and arrested for Driving While Intoxicated.
"Realism is honestly what all this is all about," said Conner. "Looking around to see the looks on kids faces, to feel what you're feeling. The realism hits you all at once."
On Wednesday, Lubbock Cooper High School will gather for a memorial assembly, accompanied by first responders.
Parents and students will also meet for a debriefing, designed to help them cope with the stress and emotion expected after this experience.
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