Bishop England students taken through drunk-driving accident exercise

DANIEL ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - DANIEL ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Car crashes are the leading cause of death for young adults and teenagers. To thwart that statistic, police and an anti-drunk driving organization showed high school students at Bishop England what could happen if they drink and drive.

"It's just scary to think about it. You think you're invincible to it as a high school student but then you realize it could happen to anyone," said Julianne Runey.

Runey is a senior at Bishop England High School on Daniel Island, where the High School Injury Prevention Coalition reenacted a wreck to scare these kids straight-even though they're legally too young to drink.

"It's high school; it shouldn't be done but it is," said Runey.

The staged wreck showed what happens after the crash, complete with a field sobriety test and an arrest.

Officer Jared Winters says the drunk driver surviving is typical.

"The driver who is intoxicated is usually not the one who gets hurt. Usually it's the innocent people he hits or are in his car," said Winters.

Carl Fehr with Charleston County EMS says it's important to reach these drivers early and often.

"Encourage them to wear their seatbelts, discourage them from drinking under the influence," said Fehr.

Runey says her parents have an agreement with her that both promotes her safety and well-being and allows her to seek their help without a parent-child battle: if she needs a ride, they'll get her without asking any questions.

Winters says that's smarter and cheaper than the alternative.

"$20 for a taxi cab is a lot better than $5000 and penalties you'll have to pay if you are charged with a DUI not to mention you'll be without a driver's license several months to one year," said Winters.

That's also safer for everyone on the road.

"It's scary. You always try to tell them not to, but hopefully now that we've gone through this and seen this now they know not to," said Runey.

The High School Injury Prevention Coalition visits high schools throughout the tri-county throughout the year but holds demonstrations like these right in time for spring break and prom.

The coalition is a group of hospitals and emergency responders.

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