Police use simulation to convey stark warning

DODDRIDGE COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - As prom season approaches, officers with the Doddridge County Sheriff's Department visited Doddridge County High School Thursday to warn high school students about the dangers of driving under the influence.

Along with crews from the Smithburg Fire Department, Doddridge County Ambulance Authority, and HealthNet, police set up a simulation of a two-vehicle crash.

"[People] do it, they make poor decisions, and one saying I like is 'people you don't want to meet is by accident,'" Deputy Sheriff Chris Garner emphasized.

Students took on the roles of victims in the staged crash. In this simulation, four of the victims had died, while only one survived.

"This could happen to me at any time because people decide to drink and drive," said Haleigh Lipscomb, a high school junior who participated in the demonstration.

She plans on following the lessons she learned when she attends the school's prom Saturday.

"I'm going to make sure if I know someone who's deciding to drink and drive, that they find another ride home, so that this doesn't happen," Lipscomb said.

According to Deputy Garner, there were more than 4,120 DUI-related arrests in 2015.

And the risks extend beyond drinking. With the rise in drug use in the state, police say dangers on the roads are heightened, even after the initial crash.

"Bridgeport police [recently] had a female who was very unruly," Deputy Garner recalled, referring to an incident on Lodgeville Road Monday. "They believed her to be under the influence. Our officers and our emergency service personnel--whether it be Fire or EMS--they encounter those."

So how should you approach a conversation with your kids about the dangers on the roads? Deputy Garner has a few tips in the video above.