WINTER PARK, Fla. – As prom season is getting underway in Central Florida, students at one Orange County high school received an up close and dramatic message about the dangers of drinking and driving.
A mock deadly DUI presentation was held early Thursday at Trinity Preparatory School, which is holding its prom on Saturday.
News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero emceed the event, which included first responders from the Florida Highway Patrol, Orange County Fire-Rescue and Orange County Sheriff's Office.
"If I could save one person this weekend based on what I've said (and) something these first responders did, then it's 100 percent worth all of our time to be out here," Montiero said.
The demonstration began with a high school couple going out on prom night, then a decision to drink and get behind the wheel led to a deadly crash.
"What got me in the beginning was when they said that the first responders were getting everybody else and they couldn't do anything for the girl who had died," Trinity Prep senior Lena Kuhlman said.
Students watched in silence as firefighters cut the roof off a vehicle during a rescue attempt. Minutes later, the student who was behind the wheel was placed in handcuffs and the woman who played the role of one of the teens' mother was notified that her daughter had died.
"Seventy-six doors I've knocked on to let them know that a mom wasn't coming home, a brother, a sister, and it sticks with you forever," Montiero said.
Once the demonstration was complete, students heard from speakers who have lost loved ones because of someone driving under the influence of alcohol.
"It really hits home, because it's real. It happens and it could potentially happen to any of us," Trinity Prep senior Meg Parent said.
Thursday's presentation was the first of several planned at Central Florida high schools over the next few weeks in an effort to reduce drinking and driving.
"I really hope that a lot of students take it to heart and think about that next time they get in a car," Parent said. "Make sure they're not under the influence and the person driving is not under the influence."