As prom season approaches, Safe and Sober week takes a powerful toll on students


Anthony Romero

Young adults tend to join friends at parties or other gatherings where alcohol may be present. Social gatherings like these can truly impact someone's actions and judgment. It is highly condemned that you do not drink impaired.

Anthony Romero, Features Reporter

While prom arises, so does the abundance of teen drivers getting on the road. Car crashes happen very frequently and especially to intoxicated teenagers. Prom is a time for partying and having fun; Don Lugo will keep it that way with their continuation of the safe and sober week.

Many events have been recently spread out throughout the week before spring break. On Monday, it was Mothers Against Drunk Driving, on Tuesday and Wednesday it was tricycle riding with “drunk” vision goggles to get students involved. To end the week on an emotional but impactful note, on Thursday and Friday, during third and fourth period, there was a DUI court case simulation and presentations by multiple people who have had experiences due to the consequences of drunk driving.

Recently, before the safe and sober plan, there was an event known as “Every 15 Minutes”. The program would enact a brutal and graphic car accident with student actors throughout the week leading to a highly emotional simulated funeral. As this is an intense experience for not only the students but also the actors in it, the event does hold a distinctly high cost.

Due to a tight budget our school was given for this week, Don Lugo faculty decided to organize the safe and sober week and collaborate with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to help kids understand the dangers of drunk driving. There have been multiple mishaps when it came to attendance and scheduling which caused a bit of cancellation here and there. Problems became apparent from the rush of plans and the prom/ASB voting times but our amazing staff and students were quick to resolve this situation and managed to give students an important life lesson.

As the week continues, rolling the results of safe and sober week begin to be evident. What is the intended reaction or result you think will be seen after the numerous amounts of activities? This was a question asked to an abundance of students attending on campus.

I believe for me it worked very well at conveying its message. The most important value of these events is to keep children of this school safe”

— Adrianna Herrera

Presentations struck an emotional heart string with many of the students who have also lived throughout these types of situations whether it be a family member, a friend, or themselves. The safe and sober week effects young teens by not only telling their story but showing them the harsh and destructive consequences that come with drunk driving. Activities such as the “drunk” biking (where kids wear impaired vision goggles and ride tricycles) and the virtual reality simulation are meant to deliver a first-person point of view of driving intoxicated.

As the students view the horrifying images of a car crash, they feel the emotional impact intended from the speakers. Teens see the true devastation that is delivered with an accident such as the ones that were shown. This is why the two last days of safe and sober week are the most important, as students are delivered a heartful speech with unsettling images.

Many students who attended the presentations felt a fear that was never really there, especially for juniors. The stories that were told let the audience know that these type of accidents can happen to anyone, even if you do not drink, someone else can and could kill you. Not only did the speeches captivate the minds of the young adults getting ready to go out into the real world but informed them what will come if one goes down that wrongful path.

On Friday, students were given a speech from Griffin Haiko who was in a drunk-driving accident and how it affected his life. He was in a car crash with his friend and his girlfriend in which, tragically, his friend Eric passed away instantly. He told the students, “There is nothing I can do about what happened yesterday or the days before but I have an opportunity to make a choice now, just like you guys have an opportunity to make a choice every year.” The speaker’s emotional and heartfelt delivery impacted the audience showing them the cost of drinking and driving.

Is the feeling when you are drunk worth the result that will or can come? What makes it certain that you won’t be the next crime scene or accident on the news? The importance of the Safe and Sober program helps us teens to feel safer and more aware of the dangers on the road during prom season and the rest of our lives.

Prom is a night for teens to enjoy time with friends and or significant others in a safe way; this night should not be ruined with a small sip of alcohol and the Lugo community wants to make clear of that. The school has even encouraged to call a parent, friend, a parent’s friend, or even a police officer if a person is not capable to operate a vehicle. Although it is highly condemned for minors to consume alcohol, members of the community advise adolescents to be mindful, smart and make wise choices — because no parent deserves to be woken up by a knock on their door from the authorities in the middle of the night.