COLUMBIA, Mo. – Students got to see the potentially fatal consequences of drunken driving Monday in Columbia.
The Missouri Department of Transportation and TRACTION, a MoDOT-sponsored program designed to education kids about the danger of driving drunk, held a mock DWI fatal crash at the Holiday Inn Executive Center for students in grades K-12.
TRACTION, also known as Teens Taking Action to Prevent Traffic Crashes, led the event, which was part of a Youth Traffic Leadership Training Conference.
At the mock crash, which participants call a “docudrama,” students and officers go through the motions of a replica fatal DWI car accident in which one person is taken to a hospital by helicopter and one person is arrested for driving while intoxicated.
“The idea is for the students to see and experience what would happen at a crash scene,” said Bob Parr with TRACTION. “Young people learn in different ways, some can listen to what is said and some learn best when they see something in action and have a chance to discuss it.”
Missouri has a zero-tolerance alcohol and drug law for minors. Anyone under 21 driving with a blood-alcohol content of .02 percent or higher will have his or her license suspended for 90 days.
“Just getting to be there and experience it firsthand is really important to see what can happen if you don’t obey the traffic laws, just spreading awareness is important,” said Emma Duncan, a junior at Washington High School.
The students also got a lesson on the dangers of distracted driving.
Missouri law prohibits drivers 21 years old and younger from sending, reading or writing an electronic message while behind the wheel, including when stopped in traffic. The fine for texting while driving is $200. Two points will be assessed on the driving record for each conviction.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, traffic crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens.
In Missouri in 2014, according to the MSHP, one person was killed or injured in a crash involving an impaired teen driver every 1.3 days. Forty-one percent of fatal teen crashes involved speeding or driving too fast for conditions. One person every four hours was killed or injured by a teen driver who was speeding and 93 percent of teens killed in Missouri traffic crashes were killed in vehicles driven by another teenager.
In Missouri in 2017, according to the MSHP, there were 141 fatalities involving pickup trucks and 75 percent of those killed were not wearing a seatbelt.
Missouri has a graduated driver license law which requires teen drivers to gain experience on the road and prove they are good drivers before graduating to a full license.
All first-time drivers between 15 and 18 years old must complete a period of driving with a licensed driver and restricted driving before getting a full license.
The instruction permit phase requires teens to spend a minimum of 10 hours of behind-the-wheel driving instruction that occurs during the nighttime hours between sunset and sunrise.
Anyone under 21 driving with blood-alcohol content of .02 percent or higher will have his or her license suspended for 30 days followed by 60 days of restricted driving.
Any driver under 21 convicted of an alcohol-related offense within the last 12 months will not be eligible for a full driver’s license until the offense or conviction date is 12 months old or until they turn 21.
If you or a loved one have suffered accident injuries in a car accident call Northland Injury Law at 816-400-4878 to speak to a Missouri automobile accident lawyer today for help in recovering the compensation you need. An experienced personal injury attorney can ease some of the burden by engaging in fact-finding, gathering the necessary documentation, and crafting concise and thorough demands for settlement of your claim.