By: Bruce Qualls—
As we head into this season of school parties, proms and graduations, I devote myself to a project that is near and dear to me: “Living Proof.” I chair this event because if I can save at least one Delaware County youth from being in a drunk driving crash, it is worth it.
I hate drunk drivers, I really do. Not only do impaired drivers hurt themselves but they have the potential to hurt or kill others. These horrible crashes change so many lives and they don’t have to happen. I am passionate about “Living Proof,” and have been involved for several years because I want our youth to grow up and lead productive lives as citizens of Delaware County.
This year’s annual Living Proof reenactment is set for 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., April 5 and 6, at Muncie Central High School, including a fatal crash scene in Central’s parking lot. Tours are every 10 minutes with the last tour each evening at 8 p.m. Rehearsal for “Living Proof” is the evening of April 4.
“Living Proof” is free and open to the public for parents and youth over the age of 13. Youth under the age of 13 are discouraged from attending because the event is very graphic.
The annual event coincides with Alcohol Awareness Month. It is sponsored by the Delaware County Prevention Council (DCPC), along with dozens of other organizations and 150 volunteers, to discourage youth from drinking during many spring celebrations.
While it is illegal to drink under the age of 21 in Indiana, this event reminds parents and teens the consequences they face if they drink and drive through a series of realistic scenes. The event also serves as a reminder to parents that hosting parties for those under 21 must be alcohol free.
There is plenty to do.
PRIDE Team members will portray teens impacted by alcohol abuse, but the majority of the actors at the event will be real police and fire department personnel, including other agencies, such as prosecutors, judges and attorneys, and EMS staff – all volunteering their time to drive the point home to youth not to drink and drive. There will be a Lifeline helicopter on site, weather permitting, and other first responder equipment. Those attending can get a feel for being drunk by trying out “dunk goggles,” which mock the effects of drunkenness, as well as a DUI simulator.
Each year the presentation is changed, so if people have seen it in the past, there will be something new, said Pat Hart, DCPC Executive Director. She encourages everyone to attend as a reminder not to drink and drive.
Bruce Qualls is “Living Proof” Chair