Heuvelton Students Participate in Mock DWI Event


Students at Heuvelton Central School District learned about the dangers of driving under the influence during a mock DWI exercise at the school on Thursday, May 9. Heuvelton students, along with emergency services personnel and first responders, acted out what can occur when someone chooses to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Following the mock crash was a mock trial in the Poulton Auditorium, during which the student driver was held accountable for his actions. 

St. Lawrence County Emergency Services and the Heuvelton Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad were joined by the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, St. Lawrence County Stop DWI, LifeNet of NY, Frary’s Funeral Home, Bill Rapp’s Chevrolet, Town of Dekalb Judge, Howard Putney and County Coroner, Kevin Crosby to stage the event. 

"We thank the many agencies involved in planning, preparing, and carrying out the Mock DWI here at Heuvelton Central,” said Heuvelton Principal, Jill Farrand. “With our prom on May 11, we were hoping to provide some real-life context to the message of making good choices for our students. Students in grades 9-12 witnessed the event, from the 911 call to the arraignment of the "drunk" driver. Being shown the real-life consequences of driving while impaired, or riding with a driver who is impaired, was incredibly impactful for our students.”

Students were able to see first-hand the significant resources required to respond to such incidents, and the amount of time that often passes from the initial collision to individuals receiving help. Matt Denner, St. Lawrence County Director of Emergency Services, narrated the scene as it progressed, helping students understand what was taking place, and focused on the tragic consequences of making the choice to drive under the influence. 

First responders demonstrated how they use the Jaws of Life to extract entrapped victims, and showed students how airbags deploy. The exercise was not only helpful in demonstrating the tragic consequences of driving under the influence, but also served as a training exercise for emergency personnel. 

“The action started at 9 a.m.,” Denner told students after all but one vehicle occupant had been extracted. “It’s only been twenty minutes.” Students were able to witness how quickly an accident scene is assessed, and resources are deployed to assist victims. Training exercises like the Mock DWI are important for first responders to practice their procedures for real emergency situations.