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LCHS students warned of prom temptations

POSTED: April 16, 2010 4:29 p.m.
"Central dispatch to units in the area of Liberty County High School, we have an accident with serious injuries reported on school grounds, all units in vicinity asked to respond..."
With that call a serious of motions were put into place as students of Liberty County High School learned about the dangers of under aged drinking and driving at Friday morning's DUI Prom Program conducted by the Liberty County Sheriff's Department.
The program was in the school's parking lot in anticipation of the school's prom weekend.
"We did this a few years ago in an attempt to educate the kids about drinking and driving especially since they have a very important event coming up this weekend, their prom," LCSO Capt. David Edwards said. "It's a program Sheriff Martin highly supports."
Edwards said Principal Dr. Paula Scott asked School Resource Officer Donald Moody to coordinate the event, which gave students an opportunity to simulate the effects of alcohol and driving under the influence.
Students drove golf carts across a course zigzagging through safety cones.
"When they turn around they drive the course again with the goggles," Edwards said. "Those goggles simulate what it would be to drive under the influence of alcohol and have blurry vision. It's hard to navigate a vehicle when you are under the influence."
Moody said the goggles simulate someone who would have a blood alcohol limit of .124.
More often than not students hit, crushed and sometimes even dragged the cones while wearing the goggles.
"The cones represent pedestrians and other cars," Edwards said.
The regional coordinator from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, Luther Hires, brought a roll-over simulator.
He demonstrated a vehicle roll-over and the consequences of not wearing a seatbelts. When the test dummies were buckled up the truck would flip and the passengers were still secure. When the belts were unbuckled the dummies were thrown out.
Students Jovan Jones and Desiree Garcia were placed into a live simulation of a serious accident involving a death and severe injuries.
During the demonstration firefighters from the Hinesville FD and Liberty EMS arrived with lights on and siren blaring.
Jones was covered with a protective barrier as they used the Jaws of Life to extract him from the wrecked Mazda. Liberty EMS then worked on his injuries, securing his neck with a neck brace, starting an IV and placing him on a backboard and transporting him.
Garcia, was analyzed by the paramedics, declared dead by Coroner Reginald Pierce and placed into the coroner's van.
The exercise was meant to impact the student's decisions this weekend.
"We are realistic," Principal Scott said. "We want to show them what the consequences of those split decisions that you sometimes make based on peer pressure or circumstances, could be. You make a poor choice and sometimes it's something that you and your family have to live with for a long time to come. We want their eyes to be open."
The emergency workers agreed.
"We want an accident free, prom weekend," Edwards said. "We don't want to see anyone hurt. We want everybody back safe and back on school Monday morning."

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