CHP simulates drunk driving crash for students in Chula Vista - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

CHP simulates drunk driving crash for students in Chula Vista

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. (CBS 8) - In the wake of several deadly car crashes involving local teenagers, the CHP is getting the word out about the dangers of driving drunk.

CHP Officer Marc Hale spent five months setting up the mock drunk driving crash at Bonita Vista High School Thursday. The students had no idea it was happening until they walked outside and saw the wreckage.

"Basically what we're trying to do here today is show teens the effects of drinking and driving and making mature decisions and what impact it'll have on family, friends, loved ones," Officer Hale said.

One crash victim is flown from the scene by Mercy Air. Students will learn later that she died at the hospital. It's shocking to watch but students admit the message is needed.They're already seeing drunk driving.

"It happens a lot at the parties and it's sad. People drive with them too," student Vanessa Mahrou said.

The program is called Every 15 Minutes because every 15 minutes in this country someone is injured or killed by a drunk driver. And lately San Diego has had more than its fair share of fatalities, most notably a 17-year-old Torrey Pines student and a 17-year-old Vista High student killed in two separate crashes while riding with suspected drunk drivers.

"Seeing my friend right there lying dead, he looked so real, so I leaned not to drink and drive," student Freddie Velarde said.

Freddie Velarde played the role of the drunk driver in today's simulation.  He says after today he has no problem taking the keys away from a friend who has been drinking. It's exactly the message organizers are hoping to hear, and Freddie's not the only one who got it.  

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