That's why emergency responders staged a DUI crash outside Genesee school Wednesday morning. Reporter Rachel Dubrovin brings us the reactions of Genesee teens after they see how much damage drunk driving can cause.
It's the last thing students at Genesee School expected to see at 8:30 on a Wednesday morning.
"We wanted an accident that would be somewhat realistic and evoke some emotion in our kids to hopefully make a lasting impact on them not to drink and drive," said Genesee Fire Department EMS Coordinator Becky Pickard.
The Latah County Sheriff's Office and Genesee emergency responders staged a DUI accident right in the school's parking lot.
"We're talking about DUI crashes here, but none of you are 21 are you?" said Latah County Sheriff's Office Deputy Darren Duke. "I know none of you drink, but we're going to be showing this anyways, so we'll just leave it at that."
The paramedics, cops, and firefighters were real...
"That is one of my worst nightmares," said Pickard. "That I will go to an accident, and it'll be one of you."
And the victims were the students' classmates.
"It was scary to know that I know those people and that could really happen," said Genesee School Seventh Grader Taitum Salas. "And there was blood and background noises."
One of the student actors played dead.
"There was a lot of things going on," said Genesee School Eighth Grader Danielle Andersen. "And it looked like they had troubles getting the people out of the cars."
One was airlifted off the scene.
"I think it's better just for the students to see it first hand," said Genesee School Senior Reece Wayte. "It makes it more worthwhile and especially since there was actual high school students in the car with fake injuries."
And the driver was taken away in handcuffs.
"Even though people know that it's fake, they see the injuries and stuff like that," said Genesee School Junior Austin Jones. "And it freaks people out to know that can happen if you do drink and drive."
It was a grim way to start the day… But the emergency responders hope this message sticks with the students.
"If you guys do go out and drink, I don't support that decision," said Deputy Duke. "I hope that you seriously consider not… But if you do, don't drive."
Emergency responders said drills like this one also serve as great practice for local firefighters and paramedics. The Latah County Sheriff's Office plans to host a similar drill in Kendrick on May 23rd.