Virtual death experience forces realization

Serapio Alvarez, Staff Writer
November 3, 2011
Filed under News

The San Diego Police Department, alongside the San Diego Fire Department, held a mock experience of the dangers of drunk driving on Oct. 26 at the LRC of San Diego Mesa College. The mock experience exposed students, as well as faculty, to the experience of receiving a DUI, driving drunk, being arrested and all of the consequences that comes with it in order to enlighten the public about the 13,000 deaths relating to drunk driving.

The SDFD gave a live example of releasing a harmed driver from their vehicle using an hydraulic rescue tool also known as the Jaws of Life. Whoever wields this tool possesses the power to cut, spread, and ram and bust doors. For many students the Jaws of Life was a spectacular sight thus creating a crowd of interested students.

The firemen chopped off the roof of the vehicle, performed an extraction of the “victim”.

“I thought it was really interesting, it made me realize a lot,” said Sophomore Alba Islas.

While the show went on Public Information Officer of El Cajon Monica Zech gave a presentation of hazards that pedestrians, in additions to drivers, should be more aware of. She provided videos, pictures, and articles of horrible accidents caused by carelessness and intoxicated drivers. Zech was a victim of an accident caused by reckless driving, which resulted with [her] having to undergo a $65,000 surgery.  “I really don’t drink but its still good to see and be aware of these things,” said Sophomore Caroline Andrade.

One thing that the typical person doesn’t know is that not stopping at a stop sign is the easiest ticket given. Excessive tickets are issued for the simple fact that too many drivers do not come to a complete halt at stop sings.
SDPD gave physical experiences of what it was like to endure the sobriety test, drunk driving, and being arrested.

“I’m here to let them have an idea of what we do,” said Officer Gabriel Espiritu. When asked what the point of the mock tests was, Espiritu said, ”I wanted them to undergo what the impaired driver does.”

“Stupidity is our job security,” said Zech. The excessive amounts of drivers driving recklessly could easily be subdued if the awareness level elevated.  She expressed the fact with proof that more than 13,000 people are killed a year due to reckless driving.

“I’m helping to bring awareness of what alcohol does to the body,” said Officer Amalia Sidhu. At this event there were also simulated tests that participants can experience such as the sobriety test also know as “walking the line”, driving while under the influence course, and experiencing what hands cuffs feel like wrapped around your wrists.

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