Local News

Wakefield Students Get a Lesson and Plea Against Drunk Driving

Posted February 13, 2007 10:52 p.m. EST

— The Wake County Sheriff’s Office made a special trip to Wakefield High School on Tuesday to lecture students on the dangers of drinking and driving.

The deputies’ visit followed a string of deadly crashes involving Wakefield students.

“Keep your arms down by your side and when you get to the ninth step, turn around and come back and do the same thing. You understand? Begin,” Master Deputy R.D. Davis told a group of students.

The students wore impaired-vision goggles that are the equivalent of having three times the legal limit of blood alcohol for drivers. With each step, they learned what it's like to take a field sobriety test while under the influence.

The students thought it was funny, of course, but many at Wakefield have learned the hard way that drunk driving is no laughing matter.

"It really doesn't seem like the kids are getting the picture because it happens every year," student Lauren DiGirolamo said.

Last month, 18-year-old senior Sadiki Young, a popular student-athlete, was killed when the car he was riding in hit a curb and went off the road. Investigators said the driver had been drinking.

Less than a year ago, four other Wakefield students were killed in an alcohol-related crash off the U.S. 64 bypass.

“We're here because we care," Davis told the group. He said he asked the principal if he could come to the school to talk about drinking and driving because he has seen so many students die.

"There does not need to be another incident or another victim at this particular high school," Davis said.

In Davis’ demonstration, students experienced first-hand what happens to someone suspected of drinking and driving. Their school knows too well the price of one bad choice.

The sheriff's office hopes what Davis could teach will be a life-saving lesson.

Wake County leads the state in alcohol-related arrests and wrecks, according to sheriff's officials.

In 2005, more than 1,500 people died on North Carolina roads. Of those, 36 percent were alcohol-related.