Photo of mock-DUI event held in 2018 at VBHS, provided by SDIRC spokeswoman Cristen McMillan
VERO BEACH — In an attempt to highlight the realistic consequences of distracted driving, a local high school will host a pre-prom mock-DUI event next week.
Vero Beach High School will partner with several law enforcement agencies and other groups to host the program. The event will be held at 8:30 a.m. April 24 on 20th Avenue, right next to the campus, school officials said.
“I appreciate the ongoing support VBHS continues to receive for our Mock DUI event each year from our local ‘first responders’ and community of emergency support persons who, together, create this powerful and valued safety message for our students,” high school principal Shawn O’Keefe said in a statement. “The end of the school year brings opportunities for celebration, and we want our students to enjoy themselves and also heed the personal and public safety lessons being taught.”
High school seniors will learn firsthand about the consequences of making destructive decisions while driving, school officials said. The mock crash will provide a dramatization to give students a realistic look at the aftermath of distracted driving.
Some examples of distracted driving include alcohol use and texting, officials said.
The mock-DUI program is held each year to coincide with prom season, with prom night set for April 27, officials said. The event is sponsored by the school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions program in partnership with Drug Abuse Resistance Education.
Since the program’s inception 23 years ago, there have been no fatalities on prom night, according to teacher and SADD/DARE Advisor Dr. Linda Gaddis.
“If I make a difference in the life of just one of these students, then I have successfully achieved my mission,” Dr. Gaddis said. “I need these students to recognize they are not invincible. I can only hope the reality of the event makes the students more cognizant of their actions.”
Some agencies involved with organizing the program include Indian River County Fire Rescue, Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, Vero Beach Police Department, First Flight & St. Lucie Air Rescue and more.
Those who want more information on the mock-DUI event can call sheriff’s captain Stephen Greer at 772-226-3864 or Dr. Gaddis at 772-564-5402.
Photos provided by School District of Indian River County