LHS seniors learn consequences of poor choices

In addition to giving the students a firsthand look at what happens in a DWI crash and its aftermath, Doran provided them with statistics on drunk driving in Onondaga County. The number one cause of death in people in their age group is traffic fatalities, and 25 percent of all people arrested for DWI in the county are under 21.

"That means that about five or 10 of you will be charged with DWI by the time you're 21," Doran said.

Timing is everything

The mock DWI presentation has been going on at the high school for more than 10 years, according to school safety officer Michael McCarthy. It typically takes place at the end of May.

"With prom season and everything, the timing is really important," McCarthy said. "We want to remind kids of the consequences of making bad choices."

Each year, the school works with several local agencies to make the presentation happen. They tweak it every year, adding something new; this year was the first time it included an arraignment by a local judge.

The goal of the realistic and emotional display is to remind kids of the potential costs of one poor decision.

"Hopefully students will think twice and make the right choice," said LHS Executive Principal Greg Avellino.

"We want to give kids a real look at what goes on," McCarthy said. "They don't necessarily get any experience with a DWI crash beyond driving by it on the highway. This way they see everything that goes into it -- all of the consequences."

Both men said the presentation has had the desired effect.

"It absolutely makes an impression," McCarthy said. "Many come up to me afterwards and tell me about someone they knew who was in an alcohol-related crash. They can relate to it."

"Their reactions are quite somber," Avellino said. "They really think about it -- what if it was them in that car?"

For more photos of the event, visit cnylink.com.

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