PPCHS Takes On Drunk Driving: An Inside Look at the DUI Presentation

Savannah Searcy & Kimani Dodd, OPINION & SOCIAL MEDIA EDITORS

   On February 15th, PPCHS’s annual Senior DUI presentation took place. This event was broken up into 2 parts: a presentation from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and a virtual simulation consisting of different activities for students to take part in. One component involved students wearing drunk goggles and participating in a field sobriety test. The whole goal of this event was to better inform students of the dire consequences of drunk driving.

   Starting off with the Mothers against Drunk Driving presentation, there was a presenter named Stephanie who showed the seniors tons of real life examples of the consequences of drunk driving, asked some trivia questions, and debunked the most common myths about drugs and alcohol. One of the videos they showed to the students depicted 3 teenage girls drunk driving and recording themselves, and within 6 seconds, they got into a car crash and 2 of them didn’t survive. It highlighted just how quickly your life can be taken away from you. Another part in this presentation was the debunking the myths part. Some of the most surprising facts were that alcohol, marjuana and opioids are equally addictive and that a 1.5 ounce bottle of alcohol, a 12 ounce bottle of alcohol and a 16 ounce bottle contain the same amount of alcohol. There are many misconceptions teens have about both drugs and alcohol so it was wonderful to learn all of this new, valuable information.

   After the presentation, the class of 2022 was split into two groups and transitioned from the River of Grass theater to the football field. Group A went to the field while Group B stayed behind to watch the rest of the presentation; then, they switched, with Group B now headed to the football field while Group A would return to the theater to finish the rest of the presentation.

   At the football field, the seniors were met with campus police officers to participate in different activities imitating what it would be like if they were under the influence. Prior to the DUI presentation event, 60 select students were sent an email letting them know that they had been chosen to be a driver for one of the activities. Once they arrived at the field, these seniors checked in with Ms. Fernandez and each took a chance at driving one of two golf carts with an officer.

   The seniors wore a pair of drunk goggles while they drove the golf carts, further challenging them as they drove through a set of cones on the field with that new sense of impaired vision, simulating what it would be like to see while under the influence of alcohol.

   “The driving was fun and it showed that it really isn’t a good idea to drive after drinking, especially after how some kids drove that day,” senior Allen Lougedo says.

   “The whole thing was informative, but it was just too early to really take it all in,” Allen honestly expresses. However, senior Mariana Riano wishes it went a little different, saying “I wish there was more emphasis on connecting to the school population. It felt like a school event, probably because it was done all at once/in the auditorium. It’d be inefficient compared to what we had, but I think that giving the talks in class-sized groups would’ve helped this land better.”

   Other seniors were also given pairs of drunk goggles, but were instead tasked with the challenge of performing sobriety tests, like walking in a straight line and catching a ball tossed to them by one of the officers.

   Overall, the DUI Presentation proved to be a very fun, engaging, and hopefully effective event! Seniors got a chance to engage with their entire class for the first time in a long time, and also renewed their senior privilege while learning valuable information for their futures.