A week before Homecoming festivities begin, University of Toledo students will simulate the tragic, criminal consequences of drinking and driving.
The UT chapter of the Pi Beta Phi sorority and the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity will host an event called the Mock Car Crash Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium.
“It’s an interactive experience to raise awareness of the risks and dangers of alcohol, as well as the consequences for family and friends when drinking leads to a car crash,” said Kiersten Kemmett, a sophomore studying pharmacy and member of Pi Beta Phi. “This is close to our hearts. One of our sorority sisters was hit and killed by a drunk driver 21 years ago. It is in her honor we host this event to encourage everyone in our region to drink responsibly. One bad decision can change so many lives forever.”
About 600 students will participate in a mock party that ultimately leads to a mock courtroom trial of the party’s host. Following the trial, Sylvania Municipal Judge Scott Ramey will speak, as well as the parents of Brian Hoeflinger, an 18-year-old Ottawa Hills High School senior who died three years ago in a drunk driving crash.
Students will then go outside to Centennial Mall for a candlelight vigil in front of a mock burial scene featuring a casket, which will be on display throughout the day.
The UT Division of Student Affairs is collaborating with the students to promote education and awareness through the Counseling Center’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention Program.
“The mock party is a visual representation of potential real-life scenarios that can occur amongst college students when making impaired decisions while under the influence,” said Lindsay Tuttle, sexual assault and substance abuse prevention education coordinator. “It is important students understand the negative impact it can have on themselves, their support systems and their community.”