A helicopter will land at De Anza High next week as part of a two-day DUI-prevention campaign that will include simulated collisions and rescues, a mock trial and a pretend funeral for two students, according to the West Contra Costa Unified School District.
The extensive simulation is part of an “Every 15 Minutes” program designed to convince students to reject drunken driving.
During school hours the morning of Tuesday, May 19, juniors and seniors will witness a simulated DUI collision on the football field. The Richmond Fire Department will respond to perform an extrication with the Jaws of Life.
The chopper will then land for a hospital transport. Both Richmond police and the California Highway Patrol will be at the scene to conduct an investigation that includes sobriety tests. The DUI driver, a student, will then be arrested.
Then on Wednesday, a memorial will take place on campus where parents and students will hear emotional testimony about the consequences of drunken driving. A mock trial and other events will then occur to further educate students.
De Anza Principal Bob Evans said the program will have a “tremendous impact.”
“If we can change one young person’s mind about drinking and driving, then we have made an impact as educators,” Evans said.
Since its launch in 1995, the “Every 15 Minutes” program has proven to be effective in reducing DUI collisions, according to CHP spokesperson Officer Sean Wilkenfeld.